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At a Wednesday press conference to announce the filing of a lawsuit challenging health insurance coverage for members of Congress through the District of Columbia’s small business exchange, Judicial Watch President Thomas Fitton called the arrangement “fraud.”
Fitton based his remarks on the D.C. law requiring small businesses to have 50 employees or less to get insurance through the small business exchange, and on documents obtained by the government watchdog group through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Authority.
“The documents we’ve obtained from the D.C. Health exchange show that every member of Congress who is enrolled in Obamacare has obtained their insurance
“At least 12,359 members of Congress, Congressional staffers and their spouses and dependents currently purchase health insurance in D.C.’s small business exchange even though Congress far exceeds D.C. law’s 50 employee limit for participating in the exchange,” Fitton said.
He added that with a total of 14,289 people signed up through the small business exchange, members of Congress, staff, spouses and dependants make up about 86 percent of all enrollees between October 2013 and September 2014.
When Congress applied to participate in the Small Business Exchange, representatives falsely asserted that the House and the Senate each employ 50 or fewer full-time employees. Specifically, records provided by the Exchange Authority in response to a Freedom of Information Act request show that both the House and the Senate falsely claimed that they each employ only 45 full-time employees.
As CNSNews.com reported on Nov. 5, 2013, the Executive Branch’s Office of Personnel Management issued a federal regulation allowing Congress to be treated as a small business, even if Congress employs more than 11,000 staffers and spent $4,329,000,000 on its own
A Washington D.C. resident who is 57 years old with a spouse who is 53 years old and with three children will pay a premium of $1,493 per month, or $17,916 per year for a “Bronze” level plan on the Obamacare exchange, according to this calculator. If he and his wife both earn $55,250 per year, they will get $0 in federal subsidies.
However, a family headed by a congressman with the same demographics (and earning the congressman’s salary of $174,000) will get a subsidy of $11,378.16 from his "small business" employer—the Treasury of the United States