RUSH: The Daily Caller. It’s actually a couple of days old. I’ve had it in the stack since I think Monday. “A group of Democratic senators is urging the Obama administration to delay a key portion of Obamacare because the results could be ‘harmful and disruptive.’ In a letter exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller, Senate Democrats pleaded with Health and Human Services secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to delay an Obamacare rule change that puts companies with 51 to 100 employees in the costlier ‘small group’ market instead of the ‘large group’ market.
“The rule change, which will result in higher premiums for many companies, goes into effect in 2016. The letter was signed by Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill, Heidi Heitkamp, Chris Coons, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Jon Tester and independent Sen. Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats.”
So even as all of this is happening, Democrats have yet asked for another delay in implementation because it’s going to hurt their reelection chances. By the way, the bureaucracy that offered subsidies, that was demanded, required to offer subsidies to congressional staffers, was the Office of Personnel Management.
Now, I want to go through this one more time, too, because so much happens on this program every day. The content of one EIB Network program could fill the Encyclopedia Britannica. So it’s tough to remember this stuff. But I will never forget this. The Senate and House staffers on the Democrat side, many of whom participated in writing a portion of Obamacare — it was 2,200 pages. When they finally found out what it was gonna cost them, because they’re mandated, their employer mandates that they have Obamacare, they work for the federal government.
They were not gonna be able to keep their doctors. They were not gonna be able to keep their plans. Their premiums didn’t go down $2,500. Their health care costs were said to go up so much they couldn’t afford it. They didn’t qualify for subsidies because they were not gonna be going through any exchange. The federal government at that point in time did not have an exchange ’cause they were still obeying the law at this point in time. There was no federal exchange. Only the states that had signed up had exchanges. So there was no subsidy for these people and they screamed bloody murder, and Harry Reid went out and screamed bloody murder.
Obama came along and essentially waved his magic wand and granted them subsidies up to 75% of their total health insurance costs, congressional staffers, House and Senate, via through the Office of Personnel Management because there was no federal exchange. Even if there had been, these people would not have qualified for it. So Obama, just in sort of like another executive action, just mandated that the Office of Personnel Management underwrite 75% of the health care costs of congressional staffers, because Harry Reid and the rest were just screaming like stuck pigs over this.
Ted Cruz hasn’t done anything. He hasn’t complained about the cost. He hasn’t done any of that, at least as it affects him personally. He’s not asked for subsidies. He’s not demanded anything of the sort. All he’s doing is complying with the law, and that’s what he said he’s doing. But this latest thing from these Democrat Senators, they want another delay through the 2016 election ’cause this is gonna affect donors.
RUSH: Now, folks, it wasn’t just congressional staffers that were bellyaching about this. I want to review this whole thing. I’ve given you the highlights, and I want to review the whole thing. Senator Charles Grassley put into Obamacare that Congress and staff would have to use it. The original bill did not mandate that Congress would have to use it. That’s the way it always is. The left designs a bill, Washington designs a bill, and they exempt themselves from it, and they did this. They exempted themselves from all of this Obamacare crap.
Chuck Grassley put in there that Congress and staff would also have to use it. There was nothing in the bill that said Congress and their staffers would be able to keep their employer contribution under Obamacare, but Obama, this is when he got into action via executive action declared that the Office of Personnel Management would continue to contribute to Congress and staffers’ premiums at the same rate they had been doing so before Obamacare. They were never gonna have to fall pray or succumb to the rigors and requirements of Obama. They’d been exempted.
And Grassley said, “Nope, nope! If we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do this evenly.” It wasn’t just staffers who were screaming bloody murder when they found out what all this cost. Congressmen were also saying that they were gonna have to retire or not seek election if they had to pay the full premium under Obamacare because they didn’t have the money. A lot of members of the House earn no more than what they make in Congress. It’s a lot of money, but everybody spends what they make for the most part. They didn’t have it.
They had a previous plan where a lot of the stuff was subsidized, and they were gonna be exempted from Obamacare. And Grassley stuck it in there that they were gonna be, and they started screaming, and that’s when Obama moved in to subsidize everybody, to the Office of Personnel Management. Now, the Drive-Bys emphasized the staffers when they reported this story because they make a little less money than the congressmen. But the congressmen were part of the thing as well. They were also hypocrites. They wrote the bill. They voted on it without reading it.
And then when it comes in to implementation phase, they started bellyaching, a bunch of ’em (on the Democrat side especially) about how much it was gonna cost when they thought they were gonna be exempt. But the media didn’t focus on the members of Congress so much bitching. They focused on the staffers, ’cause there’s more sympathy for the staffers. They don’t make as much money. So Obama moved in via the Office of Personnel Management, and everybody on Capitol Hill ended up having their insurance premiums and their costs, ought to have subsidized — not everybody, but up to 75% — and that’s the true story of that.
RUSH: The program’s kind of been hijacked here today by Ted Cruz signing up for, well, either federal insurance or Obamacare, whichever you want to call it. Even some dispute about that, which we’ll explain here as the program continues to unfold before your very eyes and ears.
Now, all of this visit back into history, the point is, ’cause I had some e-mails, “Rush, what does any of this have to do with Cruz signing up?” It’s a good question. It’s kind of dovetailed together. One thing has led to another, and so it served my purpose to remind you of some of the blatant hypocrisy that existed in this bill from the get-go. The Democrat Party gave us this monstrosity, and at every juncture of implementation they asked to be exempted from it.
The very people that told us it’s gonna end discrimination, it’s gonna end all of the preexisting condition people being denied, it’s gonna make sure that women get all the birth control, whatever this bill was to you, it was portrayed as a panacea, it was utopia in the making, it was utopia in the waiting, and yet at every stage Obama was granting waivers here, waivers there to every potential Democrat donor, potential Democrat voters. There have been thousands of waivers granted, people exempted from this bill, from the get-go. All of them friends of the Democrat Party.
Ted Cruz hasn’t asked to be exempted. He hasn’t asked for special treatment. He hasn’t done anything other than point out the bill is a disaster. So today he signs up for it because his wife leaves Goldman Sachs and the family is without health care. They had chosen to insure themselves through her job. She’s taken an unpaid leave so now his only choice is to sign up through his employer, which is the federal government, he’s mandated, matter of law, he did it. This has upset some people. They don’t yet know why, they’re not quite sure why, but it doesn’t sit well.
I mean, on the one hand here’s a guy that’s done nothing but claim he’s gonna get rid of it the first chance he gets, and then when he signs up, doesn’t appear to have any problem with it. So people are conflicted. So we’re trying to walk through this and explain why various things are happening. The reason we’re taking these trips down memory lane is to remind you of all the hypocrisy that’s existed.
This business of Harry Reid, congressional staffers and members in the House and Senate complaining when they — see, they were originally exempt. When this bill was first written they were exempt, which is typical. Washington writes a monstrosity of a law and exempts themselves from it. And they did it in the case of Obamacare. But Charles Grassley put the kibosh on it at some stage and forced the Democrats to subject themselves to it, because they had to do everything they could to get this thing passed and signed into law.
There were no Republican votes supporting it, if you recall. So they had to do things and we could spend probably a week recounting all of them. I don’t intend to. But staffers were the focal point because they make less than congressmen, and the newfound expenses being mandated upon them, they couldn’t afford. They publicly whined and moaned. That, to me alone, was offensive. They’re the damned architects of this. And they’re publicly complaining about how they can’t afford — they make $125,000, anywhere from 90 to 125 grand, and they can’t afford it, and yet they have forced this on people that don’t make anywhere near what they make.
They didn’t cry a single tear for the people who can’t afford this, and yet there they were bellyaching and whining and moaning over the fact they couldn’t afford it. So Obama came in and subsidized them up to 75%. Special preferential treatment for preferred citizens, in this case Democrats and members of Congress, both parties, actually. Now, the latest demand for a waiver comes from a group of Democrat senators that are up for reelection in 2016. They are begging Obama to delay a key portion of Obamacare because the results could be harmful and disruptive. They have written a letter.
The Daily Caller website got a hold of the letter. These Democrats are in the Senate, and they begging Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Health and Human Services secretary, to delay an Obamacare rule change. The rule change puts companies with 51 to a hundred employees in the small group market. The small group market is the more expensive market. You have smaller groups, therefore a smaller group doesn’t get as big a discount. The rule change would put certain companies, 51 to a hundred employees, in the small group market. And they want to be in the large group market.
The large group market has cheaper costs because there are more people in the group. It’s all about volume discounts and so forth. The rule change, which will result in higher premiums for many companies, goes into effect next year, an election year. And these Democrats are upset because companies run by people that donate to them are gonna experience vastly new health care costs unless they are exempted. And that’s what the letter is asking the Regime to do. Don’t put them in the small group market. Put ’em in the larger group market where their premiums and costs are gonna be less.
The Democrats that signed the letter are all up for reelection in 2016: Claire McCaskill, Heidi Heitkamp, Chris Coons, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, Jon Tester and Angus King.
Now, the point of this is it’s just another example of the people who gave us this albatross asking to be exempted from it, because they will be harmed by it. So all of these elites who wrote this damn thing are taking advantage of their power to exempt themselves or to request exemptions to get waivers. You and I can’t.
My point for bringing this up is no matter what you think of Cruz signing up for Obamacare, he’s not out there bellyaching and whining and moaning and demanding this or that, asking for an exception, asking for a waiver because of how much it costs. He’s just manning up and obeying the law, pure and simple. But he is gonna have to explain this I think to a lot of people, because there are a lot of his supporters that don’t understand it, and they’re concocting their own theories to explain his behavior here in order to mollify themselves because their instinct is to be alarmed by it, which I understand.
Again, in Senator Cruz you have a guy who, seemingly every day, has criticized Obamacare in great detail. He’s criticized it specifically; he’s criticized it generically; he’s criticized it ideologically; every which way he can criticize it, he has. He’s also promised to repeal it first chance he gets, every word of it. He’s gonna repeal it and then one day we wake up and he’s signed up for it. And people are scratching their heads. They were shocked. It came out of the blue, and they’re thinking, “Where’s the protest? I mean, if it’s that bad, why wouldn’t he not sign up?”
So what I’ve been explaining today are his options, and he doesn’t have many. None of us do. But he can’t go the not getting insurance route and pay the fine because they’d jump all over him as an irresponsible husband and father for leaving his family uninsured. And he can’t just ignore it because that would then subject himself to out of cost and the same criticism, and COBRA is no deal financially and only lasts for 18 months. So that’s just a summation of where we are on this.
The AP headline — and, boy, are they chortling in this whole story: — “Cruz Eyes Insurance Via Obamacare, a Law He Vows to Scrap.”