News reports from last week note that Congressional lawmakers and their staff can “breathe easy” now that their health care tab is not going to soar next year.
Why? Because the D.C. ruling class makes the rules and you pay the price. While hardworking American citizens currently face skyrocketing premiums due to more than 20,000 pages of onerous Obamacare regulations, Congress has decided taxpayers will also subsidize the health care premiums of their employees.
The decision came through the Office of Personnel Management, and reports indicate President Obama was personally involved in securing this deal. As Politico reported, “It is extraordinarily rare, to say the least, for the president of the United States to get involved in an inside-the-Beltway flap over the payment of health care premiums.”
Also joining the effort was Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who is usually a friend to logic and basic fairness, but has also spent a month blasting conservative Senators who wish to defund Obamacare by calling their efforts a “failed strategy.” Bizarrely, Coburn has proposed an amendment allowing hill staffers to avoid signing up for insurance exchanges.
This type of special treatment over health care regulations makes me sick. There should be no special privileges for people whose salaries are already paid by your tax dollars. Just because these state-based new health insurance exchanges are already an unmitigated disaster, does not grant Congress the authority to act like an elitist politburo.
That is why I’m proud to see two members of Congress rejecting this preferential nonsense by proposing a 28th constitutional amendment, which would require their fellow Members to live under the same laws they pass. The DeSantis-Salmon amendment would force their colleagues to live within the parameters they themselves establish for the American people.
The proposed amendment (H.J. Res 55) reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting the citizens of the United States that does not also apply to the Senators and Representatives.”
The Amendment borrows language from Federalist Number 57, when James Madison opined in 1788, “[T]he House of Representatives […] can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.” Madison continued, “If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate anything but liberty.”
Conservatives should never be quick to amend the Constitution. This proposal however does not change the character of the Constitution, and instead reinforces principles of our Founding Fathers which too many have forgotten.
This isn’t the first time Congress has tried to live under a different set of rules than everybody else, to say the least. Too frequently Members of Congress have been caught taking part in using their position and influence while still in office to become personally wealthy. This elitist disregard for the law can also be seen in the White House, as President Obama was quick to listen to expensive corporate lobbyists and delay the implementation of the employer insurance mandate by one year, while keeping the individual mandate intact.
Members of Congress cannot be trusted to fix the Constitutional violations of the Obama Administration if they are allowed to live outside of the laws they write. The ruling class has made their bed, and they should lie in it. Call your Member of Congress today and tell them to support the DeSantis-Salmon amendment.