RUSH: No, I knew that Obama would take care of it, and Obama took care of it. As quickly as time seems to be flying, it seems like we talked about it in the last three weeks, maybe four weeks. There is a provision in Obamacare that requires members of Congress and their staff to get their health care via Obamacare, via the exchanges. And the story we had, if you recall, was how many member of Congress, but mostly their staff, could not afford it. (gasping) And some of these people are making over a hundred thousand dollars a year. And there was a story -- I don't have it at my fingertips here, but I remember it like this was yesterday.
There was real panic among members of the staffs of senators and congressmen over having to give up their current health care plan and move in to Obamacare. Part of the Obamacare plan was that members of Congress are gonna have to do it. They were gonna be the one with the people. They were not gonna have their separate Cadillac plan, to show that they were just like us. You know, the equivalent of Mitch Snyder sleeping on a sewer grate in the wintertime for solidarity with the homeless. Well, so were members of Congress and their staff gonna have to get their health care insurance through the exchanges.
And the story three to four weeks ago was a real heart tug, folks, I mean it was three handkerchiefs. The tears, I mean, the paper was wet when it came out of the printer about how these poor people couldn't afford it, and something was gonna have to be done. Something was gonna have to be done because members of the ruling class were not gonna be able to afford health insurance if they had to do what we had to do. Never mind that many Americans aren't gonna be able to afford it, that's fine, that's okay, but members of Congress, it's just not fair that they shouldn't afford it or their staffs.
So the upshot of this is: " Obama Solves Health Care Problem for Lawmakers, Staff." And it's from Roll Call. "Just a day after President Barack Obama told Senate Democrats he had personally engaged in the issue of his signature health care law’s effect on lawmakers and their staff, it appears there’s a solution." What a coincidence!
"Word began circulating around Capitol Hill that the Office of Personnel Management would soon issue guidance to address the way the health care law’s exchanges affect members of Congress and those employed in their offices. Senate aides initially declined to discuss the matter, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed the existence of a deal to CQ Roll Call leaving the Capitol late Thursday -- and a White House official confirmed details of the plan later Thursday evening. Basically, OPM needed to determine that the federal government could help pay the cost of premiums on the exchanges for Congressional employees."
So the solution is that congressional employees are going to qualify for subsidies so that they can afford Obamacare. Essentially, Obama ordered the Office of Personnel Management to give Congress and its staffers a taxpayer subsidy for their premiums. Now, the salary for congressman, $174,000 a year. The average staffer's salary is over 70,000, and many of them earn almost as much as congressmen. So just one day, folks, after Obama promised the Senate Democrats in a closed-door session that he would give them an Obamacare carve-out, the Office of Personnel Management is saying that it's gonna provide taxpayer subsidies to Congress and their staff so that they can afford the Obamacare premiums.
Now, bear in mind, the salary for rank-and-file congressmen again, $174,000 a year. The average staffer salary is over 70. That's average. That means there are a lot of people above that. This is being reported, by the way, on a blog. It's not in a newspaper. This is in the Roll Call blog. And it has finally bled over now to The Politico. But the mainstream media is nowhere near this.
Now, if a Republican president had given Congress a way around his signature legislation, it would be the biggest story since soldiers put panties on the heads of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and made 'em do a pyramid. Now, you want to know what the subsidy is? Currently the subsidies to congressmen and their staffs is 75% of their total health care cost. As a result of the deal, the subsidy will continue as is. So two days ago there was panic on Capitol Hill because members of Congress and their staff, some, were not gonna be able to afford Obamacare. They weren't gonna be able to afford the premiums.
I'll never forget that original story. It was incredible because these are people that were involved in writing the law. These were people involved in writing the law, and they make way above the national average, and they make way above the national mean salary, way above it. And they were whining. And the story was about how they were panicking. Yes, they were afraid of a brain drain because these brilliant people were not gonna be able to afford the premiums, and they might have to leave government in order to get health care, this just wasn't right.
I mean, it fit right in with this model that's been created, the ruling class versus the country class, and the ruling class, to hell if they're gonna be bound in the same constraints we are. The hell if they're gonna live the same way we do. They're better than we are. They're above us. They're elitists. They're a cut above. They shouldn't have to have these kinds of pressures. They're important. They don't need these kind of distractions. These are really important people, these members of Congress and their staff. And they ought not have to have this kind of fear in their daily job, 'cause it's too important. They ought not have these distractions. And they actually complained about it.
Let you complain about something and you're called greedy. Let you complain about your taxes, or a proposed tax increase, and they call you greedy and selfish. Subsidies are also available to regular American people, but the subsidy cap is 94 grand on a family of four. All of these people, regardless, are gonna get a 75% subsidy. They're getting a subsidy that nobody else gets, essentially. Now, a family of four at an exchange qualifies for a subsidy up to roughly $94,000 a year. If the family of four has combined income of 94 grand, they qualify for a subsidy at the exchange. And it goes down from there to a family of two, single parent family, or just a single individual. These people are gonna get 75% subsidies, well above the salary of $92,000. It's congressional welfare.
Democrats talk about corporate welfare and how unfair it is, tax breaks for Big Oil. The thing about this, however, that resonates with me is the idea that people in Washington ought not be subject to these laws that they write. They ought not have to play by the same rules that they write for us. Equality and fairness don't apply to them. When they were faced with the reality of the law they wrote, they said, "The hell with that. We're not doing that. Who do they think we are?" And they started demanding a carve-out, special treatment, and they got it. That's what the story is about, Obama said, "I'll fix it, I'll make sure that there's a 75% subsidy." That's the story.
So I just wanted to pass that on. I'm not trying to create a furor out there. It fits right in with the whole structure of ruling class versus country class. Snerdley says they have also created what's gonna happen 'cause people aren't gonna stand for this. People aren't gonna know about this. Snerdley thinks, "Well, they might not have known about it, but they do now since you talked about it." Well, the people that listen to this program are gonna know about it. But Snerdley, you're still failing to understand. The truth of the matter is that most Americans probably won't care. Now, one way I could be wrong, Congress is not perceived to be the Democrat Party. So I could be wrong about that. Congress, low approval numbers, Congress has a never ending poor image. This kind of thing could be like the House bank. The House post office.
I know, but Obama's routinely getting around the law, and nobody cares. Nobody's worried that Obama's making law on his own. They're applauding it, in fact. When he goes out and makes these speeches on the economy, he tells people, "If Congress won't do it, I'll just do it myself." "Yay, right on, man, you tell 'em, Obama, you tell 'em." I hope I'm wrong, but my wild guess is that you're waiting for this thing to blow up and become this huge scandal, and people grab their pitchforks and run to Washington to demand -- and I'm telling you it's not gonna happen.
It may be bigger than the Cornhusker kickback, but as time has gone on, I think we live in an era where government can't do anything wrong. Whatever they do is okay and right with the low-information voters. (interruption) Sixty percent of the people hated Obamacare before, I know. Let's just see how much and how wide beyond this show this news gets. Let's see how far it spreads. We'll keep a sharp eye.
RUSH: Now, the original story on this was back on June 13th, and it was the Grassley provision, Senator Grassley. The Grassley provision, folks, was intended to make Congress live under the same rules as everybody else in Obamacare. And this ruling from Obama and the Office of Personnel Management turns that upside down. And these are not the usual Obama subsidies. You have to understand, this is not the same subsidy setup that you or other Americans are going to get at the exchanges. These are not the Obamacare subsidies that everybody has to apply for. These are completely different. These are automatic.
The money is going to come from the Office of Personnel Management budget. It is not gonna come from the IRS or Obamacare. The unions have been asking for a subsidy like this, too. The unions have been bellyaching. Remember the letter that they wrote Pelosi and Reid, Jimmy Hoffa and Trumka and these guys. Nobody can live with this. Nobody can afford this. So the unions are asking for just this kind of -- they want a waiver, they want the government to pay for this, essentially, because they can't afford it, they say.
So congressional staff could get up to $11,000 a year to defray the costs of their health care premiums, folks. But not via the exchange. This is not the standard subsidy that other Americans are gonna get. This is just a transfer of money from the Office of Personnel Management to members of Congress or their staff. The congressional subsidy is not like the usual Obamacare subsidy. That's really all you need to know on this. They're not gonna have to apply for a subsidy, like you are. They're not gonna have to go in and qualify. They're not gonna have to fill out forms. They're not gonna have to prove income or any of that.
The money is gonna go to them straight from the Office of Personnel Management, and these premiums are big -- from $5,000 to $11,000 a year. It is outright special treatment that you can't get, and the unions are asking for the same thing.