Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, launched a new investigation into how the Washington Obamacare Exemption was first implemented. Vitter is calling on the District of Columbia Health Benefits Exchange (DCHBE) and financial clerks from both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to come forward with information regarding their qualification of the United States Congress as a “small business.”
“Allowing Congress – which employs nearly 16,000 individuals – to determine itself as a ‘small business’ doesn’t pass the common sense test. We need to know exactly how and why this was allowed to happen, so we can fix this injustice and eliminate Washington’s Obamacare Exemption,” said Vitter. “Washington insiders should be forced to live under Obamacare just like the rest of America without a special taxpayer funded subsidy.”
A court filing released by Judicial Watch last month contested that Congress should not obtain insurance through D.C.’s Small Business Exchange. In his letter, Vitter requests unredacted documents submitted by Congress to the DCHBE, which allowed Congress to determine itself as a “small business” and therefore be eligible to keep its taxpayer funded employer subsidy.
In addition to identifying Congress as a small business, the heavily redacted applications that were obtained through Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, show that House and Senate officials submitted false information including fake names, birthdays, zip codes, and had signed under the electronic signature claiming they had provided “correct answers to all questions.”
Vitter has labeled this Washington’s Obamacare Exemption and argues that Congress is not a small business, and therefore, it would be illegal for them to receive the taxpayer funded subsidy. The Obamacare statute does not permit an employer contribution for anyone purchasing a health plan on the Exchange – unless they are purchasing a plan as an employee of a small business.
Vitter has continually fought to get a vote on his legislation that would end the Obamacare Exemption for Congress by requiring all Members of Congress, all Congressional staff, the President, Vice-President, and all political appointees within the administration to purchase their health insurance on the Obamacare Exchange; his legislation would also prevent them from receiving greater financial support from tax credits or subsidies than any American outside of Washington.