Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Sen. Ron Johnson’s Obamacare lawsuit widens GOP rift
JS Online – Patrick Marley – 1/6/2014

The suit notes that under the Affordable Care Act, members of Congress and their staffs are to receive health insurance coverage either created under that law or offered through the online insurance exchanges set up by the law. Johnson brought his lawsuit five days after that provision was to kick in.

The suit says the Office of Personnel Management has essentially designated the federal government as a small business by allowing members of Congress to buy insurance through an exchange set up for employers with fewer than 100 workers.

"The federal government has millions of employees, and even Congress itself has more than 11,000 employees. Obviously, neither the federal government nor the Congress could possibly qualify as a small business under the (Affordable Care Act)," the suit says.

The suit contends the personnel office passed a rule beyond its legal authority. Further, the rule violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, the suit says, because it treats members of Congress and their staffs differently than employees of small businesses who buy insurance through the exchange. That's because private-sector employees cannot buy insurance through the exchanges using tax-exempt payments from their employers.

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