In a letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), Ralph Hudgens, insurance commissioner for the state of Georgia, reports that Georgia insurance companies have filed new rate plans under Obamacare that will increase insurance rates up to 198%. Hudgens goes on to demand that the USDHHS delay implementation so that Georgia may get its house in order before the massive hikes take place. He also requests that the department justify the massive increases, as they are directly contradictory to what the President had promised. Finally, he demanded a prompt response to this “emergency situation”.

Georgia isn’t alone. A recent report from the Ohio Department of Insurance states that under Obamacare the average increase will be around 88%. Ohio and Georgia are certainly not unique. This story is repeated again and again all over the country.

Because Congress never read the bill, they had no idea how hard this would hit them. The law still remains unclear. Many threatened to quit their jobs on the Hill and move to the private sector because they could be forced to give up their subsidy. It seems odd that lawmakers threatened to abandon their constituents in a fit because they had to be included in a law that they forced upon us all.

Obama gets involved in order to exempt Congress from healthcare law provisions
Obama gets involved in order to exempt Congress from healthcare law provisions

All due to an amendment, which GOP lawmakers added to the Patient Care Act that required all lawmakers and  their staff to be covered by plans “created” by the law or “offered through an exchange before 2014. The amendment reads:

“Section 1312(d)(3)(D): The only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and their congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are created under this Act…or offered through an Exchange established under this Act.”

As of now, taxpayers pay almost 75 percent of premium payments for Congress as part of government employee benefits in Washington. Republican lawmakers believed that if America had to be a part of this then lawmakers and staff could not be allowed any exemptions. The law should apply to all Americans equally. Right?

Not so fast… Democrats had another plan. It was reported by Politico months ago that democrats in Congress were attempting to give themselves and staff an exemption. However, they quickly dismissed it as rumor. Harry Reid’s spokesman Adam Jentleson flatly denied a report that the democrat majority leader had sought an exemption for lawmakers and their staffers:

“There are not now, have never been, nor will there ever be any discussions about exempting members of Congress or Congressional staff from Affordable Care Act provisions that apply to any employees of any other public or private employer offering health care.”

There were even reports that some legislators would attempt to change the legislation by attaching an amendment to a must-pass funding bill.

“I don’t care what the answer is,” said Sen. Tom Coburn (R, Okla.). “Give us an answer so that if we want to do a legislative fix to take care of the people who actually work for us,” we can. “I mean, they’re going to be the only set of federal employees that actually get paid by the federal government that have to go into the exchange. (OPM knows) the answer—they just won’t share it. And I want time to legislate on it before we lose half our staff.”

As the 2014 deadline approaches, in plutarchy  fashion, the President and Congress moved to exempt themselves and staff from provisions of the law, which would have possibly made them lose their subsidy. Obama told a group of democratic senators in a private meeting last Wednesday that he would find a solution for them. He came through. Lawmakers and their staff will now be exempt from a provision, which could force them to buy into the system the same way we do. They will continue to receive the subsidies they currently get regardless of the amendment, which could now make this against the law set forth in the Patient Care Act. Now lawmakers and staff will not feel the swift kick in the gut that the rest of us will. For now, Congress won’t have to leave their jobs on top of the Hill.


“The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.”



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Michael Lotfi

CEO, Political Director at BrandFire Consulting LLC
Michael Lotfi is a Persian-American political analyst and adviser living in Nashville, Tennessee. Lotfi is the founder and CEO of BrandFire Consulting LLC. The firm specializes in public and private technology centered brand development, lead generation, data aggregation, online fundraising, social media, advertising, content generation, public relations, constituency management systems, print and more. Lotfi is the former executive state director for the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center, a think-tank focused on restraining federal overreach.Lotfi graduated with top honors from Belmont University, a private Christian university located in Nashville, Tennessee.

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  • Devil-Dog

    Im So SICK of the DOUBLE STANDARDS that the CORRUPT CONGRESS & president Make for THEMSELVES!!!!! If its GOOD enough for them its Good ENOUGH FOR ALL AMERICANS!!!!

  • BongBong

    Vote them out… ALL OF THEM!

  • Jeanette Ferree

    Lawsuit??????? Something?????

  • Missy Burris Raike

    It is bull crap are government is a big joke they don’t do what is in the best interest of americans they do what will best line there pockets….why do we really even have a government to drive us into the ground

  • Boo

    Vote them out isn’t enough. They all need to HANG!

    • Gene

      Hear Hear…!!!!

    • keep.perspective

      Chill, don’t be one of the little kids from Lord of the Flies.

  • asdfadsf
    • Steve Kutnar

      Note the date of the fact check article and then note when the private meeting happened…

    • Matt Winkeljohn

      That article is 3 months old.

    • Justin Myrick

      The article you referenced is from May 3. This article is referencing exemptions which are just now being enacted.

    • jac

      Factcheck.org is rarely correct on these matters… a few years back the owners died and turned it over to their children to run, and it’s been a far left propaganda site ever since.

  • Matt J.

    Members of Congress threatened to quit over Obamacare?!? Where’s the source for that? That deserves an article all by itself.

    • Matthew Parks

      No, I think this is written in poor context as well. Staffers are threatening to quit because, quite frankly, they don’t make a ton of money. If they had to pay 100% of their premiums all the sudden, then they’d likely be looking for new jobs. So the congressman are now trying to keep their staffers by keeping the fed gov’t covering a significant part of the premiums, just as an employer would. At least that’s how I understand it.


        Every citizen & company should take a stand & not obey this so called Obozocare. Let Obozo know that he will not rule over or control us!!!

        • David S. Johnson

          It’s posts like yours and blatantly untruthful or misleading posts like this that make concerned citizens skeptical of your criticism of Obamacare. Your stench makes Obama smell like a rose.

  • Matthew Parks

    This one sounds a little misleading to me. I read the articles you linked to, including the one on Forbes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way favoring Obamacare, and I do indeed think federal employees should be subject to every law just as any other citizen. But help me understand how you say they are “exempt from provisions, which force them to buy into the system the same way we do?”

    What I see is that, as is done in many companies (and comparing the gov’t to a company is unfortunate, but thus it has become), the federal gov’t is simply covering a significant part of the health insurance premiums. They still have to get insurance from an exchange the same way we will, or our employers will, or however.

    In other words, help me see the difference between what the fed. gov’t is doing for its employees here and what my employer does in covering 80% of my health insurance premiums.


    • laughable

      Because the fed gov’t is covering THEIR premiums with OUR tax dollars. That’s the difference. Your corporation is covering your premium with its profits.

      • Matthew Parks

        Yes, laughable, that is a problem. Thus my comment that comparing the gov’t to a corporation is unfortunate. But that’s not my question or concern here. My concern is why a misleading article? This is supposed to be truth-in-media! I don’t want another spin desk!!

        So again, why does the author say they are “exempt from provisions, which force them to buy into the system the same way we do?”

        I’m not looking for an admission of error (unless it’s requisite). I’m asking for an explanation. Is this really how the author sees it? If so, why? I don’t see the justification for this statement, so help me see it.

  • jac

    Gotta defund this monster.


      I thought that the Republicans were supposed to be doing that but I guess not hah?

  • Bill Cason

    I live in FL and my insurance was about $600 then it went up to $833 and now this month it’s $966!

  • Ryan

    Matthew Parks…. Federal employees are NOT exempt from this, ONLY congressional leaders executive leaders. As a federal employee, I have seen my ins rates skyrocket over last couple years too.

    • steve

      oh what you work at a post office?lol did you not read the congress part idiot?


        Maybe you didn’t understand what it said about the congress part!!!

        • Matthew Parks

          K guys, Ryan was addressing an earlier comment of mine, so don’t be attacking him! No one said this didn’t affect congress! What he’s saying is that this *also* affects all federal employees. Federal employees AND congress are affected by Obamacare and are *not* exempt from it. That’s why I feel like this article is a bit misleading. As yet, I’ve not seen anyone explain to me how it is not, based on what I thought a rather civil question in a comment below.

          Obama has not exempted anyone from the requirement to go through the exchange for insurance. Rather, he got involved at some level in pressuring the Office of Personnel Management to continue to cover the majority of federal employee (at least those federal employees in DC) premiums. This is much like a corporation will cover the majority of its employee’s health premiums as part of its standard employee benefits package.

          So… who’s being exempted from a law that the rest of the american people aren’t? I’m not seeing it. I find that particularly unfortunate coming from this source especially. That’s why I’m hoping for some explanation… what am I missing?

          • J R Moses

            Matt……..you should still be outraged. As a technicality, congress is not exempted…..but they still get SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT of their insurance paid for by the taxpayer!!! The salaries, expense accounts, retirement funds, etc………..and they get 3/4 of their insurance paid for by US? Totally wrong. THAT is what you should be posting about.

          • Matthew Parks

            JR, I do not disagree with you. But what kind of reputation is earned when posting an article that is deliberately misleading on a site that proclaims “truth in media”? I’m posting because I want a trustworthy site! One that I can feel confident in for its “truth-in-media”. I’m hoping this will be it, but if it’s just another spin desk, what a loss!

          • J R Moses

            Matt, I doubt you will ever find any article that doesn’t have at least a little “slant” or “spin” any longer……and that is very wrong, and very sad indeed. However, those of us who care (and you obviously do) need to “toss” those obvious spins and slants, and concentrate on using our voices to speak out on what is real. In this case, congress will still be getting the bulk of their insurance paid for by the taxpayer, and as I already said…….that is totally wrong. “We the people” will be getting the short end again……and THAT is the most important message to be sending out about an important issue to those who might not know or understand.

  • fbrier

    You should have split this into two separate posts – one about rising rates and the other about the congressional exemption.



      • aweosmegoat

        For general focus. Lets be honest…most people scan the article and jump to comments. A 3 paragraph story is good for most readers with a short fly by attention span.

  • americalandofthefree

    we should refuse to signup tell them when Obama and his family sign up and the congress let me know we should also not pay our taxes to a government entity that is crooked as all sin. do you know how many small businesses are going to go out of business because of Obamacare the insurance is going to eat up what little profit they make.


      We’re not the “LAND OF THE FREE ANYMORE”!! All the Democrats. Republicans & Libtards made sure of that!!

    • Priscilla Leuschen

      Awesome Idea! Strike sounds like the only way they would listen.

  • sd1215

    I knew this would happen. When you guarantee profits to an industry and back it by the government’s power. Doctors and physicians called this a while ago too.


    I thought That the Republicans were trying to repeal this God forsaken Govt insurance? Wow, they continue to lie to us as well. Someone “PLEASE”!!! Get Obama out of office through impeachment “NOW”!!!!

  • Guest

    I thought That the Republicans were trying to repeal this God forsaken Govt insurance? Wow, they continue to lie to us as I thought That the Republicans were trying to repeal this God forsaken Govt insurance? Wow, they continue to lie to us as well. Someone “PLEASE”!!! Get Obama out of office through impeachment “NOW”!!!!well. Someone “PLEASE”!!! Get Obama out of office through impeachment “NOW”!!!!


    I thought that the Republicans were on our side & trying to repeal this God forsaken Govt insurance? Wow, they continue to lie to us as well, talk about being two-faced. Someone “PLEASE”!!! Get Obama out of office through impeachment “NOW”!!!!

    • Guest

      40 years of voting for only two parties. Do you all think a vote for a third party will be a wasted vote now? Vote Libertarian!

      • MadMax Viper

        The Obama campaign payed for ads for the libertarians, you might as well give in and vote Democrat, who needs liberty anyway right?

    • Dennis Stillman

      The Rupublicans put that amendment in there in a hope that if congress had to buy in that it would get voted no. Obviously, it didn’t work, but it was there last stand before the battle was lost.

  • bermein

    Ben, as much as I love the direction you are going in, please don’t follow the path of some other pundits that have gone from a fair and honest accounting of things to an overblown and seemingly biased for the libertarian argument beyond what seems reasonable. Your reporting was so valuable because it was so honest and unbiased, just as Ron Paul’s political views are valuable because of their wisdom and unabashed honesty. This story is about the congress complaining about having to pay more for their health care but some say it is just about the matching funds going away, not the system itself. Is that true? Are they just protesting a benefit cut and did the president just assure them that 75% of their healthcare costs, no matter the system they were purchased through, would be covered? John Stossel used to a hero for resisting a pervasive editorial bias but now he is barely noticed…

  • omezey

    Misleading headline and story. The real story is the price hike and the tax payers having to cover the bill.

    • aweosmegoat

      Not sure why someone down voted you…but yes. This. This is what we need to be sharing. People know congress is out for themselves. When they find that even with coverage they will be getting huge tax increases, then they might care

    • http://myworld.ebay.com/craigsconsignment Craig Joseph Casey

      Not really the premiums are what you pay. No subsidy for congress? ounchie. High premiums

  • wordthief

    Tom Coburn is real concerned about 1/2 of his staff. What about 1/2 of the private sector Tom? Are we your subjects now?

  • defyapathy

    I am beginning to become concerned that the actions of the gov & it’s agencies since 9/11 are deliberately focused toward creating & fomenting unrest/rebellion in the public to such an extent that they will then be “justified” to initiate MARTIAL LAW. This is a slippery slope we are traversing with continued trampling of our constitutional rights. I urge us to caution and remembrance of greats such as Martin Luther King; and begin reform with local elections, more carefully selecting those who represent us in Congress. Times are desperate, but it is not too late to regain control of those who represent us. The internet is our greatest advantage, and the fact that we can still continue our discourse there means we have not yet lost.

  • Connecticut

    OPM – Must stand for Other People’s Money. The taxpayers’ money. It’s time for Congress to pay their fair share.

  • Lord Mannyrossa

    A-holes. If the plan was so great they’d be happy to get in the system. Literally threatening to quit if you have to be a part of the law shows how shit this thing really it.

  • Mark Robert

    Please call your Congressman and Senators and them to stand with, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Justin Amash and Rand Paul, In Defunding Obamacare.

    Tell them. “We don’t want, Mass immigration, NSA spying on us, SOPA, CISPA, PIPA or any other anti-Constitutional anti-American crap shove down our throats.”


    Every Anti-American gun grabbing politician should be indicted for treason.

    Please sign the petition.

    Google: Don’t fund it .com

    • Zeke Young

      Mark Robert… George Washington and other founding fathers would do same thing for what Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul is doing. Should founding fathers be also indicted for treason?!! You dumb looney-tune brain.

  • George LaBree

    The government insurance (Medicare) is the best insurance you could possibly want…and it’s from the government ….all of these right wing stories about increased premiums are lies …just wait and see, you can’t stop it anyhow, so just lean back and enjoy it.

    • Ron Cox

      You’re a fool.

    • aweosmegoat

      Cant tell if self righteous and entitled baby boomer or trolling….

      5/10 if troll

    • Muddstorm

      That sounds just like what I hear from my proctologist…’cept he’s more of a “bend over & lean forward” kinda guy. Either way, we get raped.

    • Zeke Young

      Sound like freeloader you are.

      • StrangerInAStrangeLand1

        He’s not a freeloader. Medicare is an insurance plan. He’s paid premiums into it all his life. We all have. Medicare just offers a “basic benefit”. Combined with med supp plans you can protect yourself from catastrophic health care expenses. They are purposely trying to gut Original Medicare so they can privatize it, just like Obamacare colludes with Large Insurance Companies to take your premiums, increase your taxes and give you nothing back (or almost nothing).

    • http://myworld.ebay.com/craigsconsignment Craig Joseph Casey

      were things better on the reservations for the indians?



  • David S. Johnson

    I couldn’t find a way to comment on this mess on it’s fb post, but I am delighted that so many people see through the noise these idiots make. Insurance rates are governed by market pressures, not insurance commissioners. If a salesman can sell you a policy at an inflated rate, he will, but there is always a salesman nearby with a lower rate. Businesses are opportunists, so if they can use Obama as an excuse to increase prices, you can’t blame them. You can get a glass of water from the tap free, but a slick salesman can sell you the same glass of water for $2. If your insurance commissioner allows rate hikes, that should tell you something about him. Get rid of him and get a new insurance commissioner.

    • Zeke Young

      David, Obamacare is kind of socialist and dictatorship’s way. Get rid of dictator Obama and get a new President!!!

      • David S. Johnson

        Stop your insanity. Obama can’t run again. Presidents are limited to 2 terms.A new dictator, er president is on the way.

    • http://myworld.ebay.com/craigsconsignment Craig Joseph Casey

      So your solution is to find a better crook?

      • David S. Johnson

        You deserve just that if you allow your governor to appoint one. As hard as you are struggling to put the fate of healthcare back into the arms of a bunch of wealthy insurance executives, that is what you will most likely get.

    • StrangerInAStrangeLand1

      I’m sorry, but a good insurance agent will always look for ways to reduce your rate, not try to sell you a policy that is more expensive. Usually they quote multiple carriers in order to ensure they get the best rate for their clients. Insurance agents will be out of business in 3-5 years by design. Can’t have qualified professionals telling the public that the plans are crap and expensive to boot! REPEAL IT.

  • Quizzal

    Why must we sign our name and e-mail addresses everytime when we want to vote for something – impeachment, laws, etc. Everyone has a right to voice what they wish to say with mentioning their personal ID. Where has out freedom gone?
    Our answers are not to move forward, but backward!

    • http://myworld.ebay.com/craigsconsignment Craig Joseph Casey

      The founders did not spend all their energy on peaceful protests

  • bres

    Seriously? Are we going to let this outrage occur? What can we expect from the future if “our” thing that is allegedly protecting us, is simply sidestepped by some elite that not only are paid from our funds, but are way overpaid for any executive that works 3 weeks a year? I am about to give up and relocate to an acceptable alternative to where we are heading now, as we have zero representation and proposed tax of 50-70% shortly. Why is nothing put to citizens as a referendum so their actual wishes are carried out? Anyone? Obama? Buehler? Rand?

    • skytag

      What outrage? Do you even know what’s being discussed?

  • Kevin Merck

    What do you expect from people who profit from insider trading and vote themselves pay increases whenever they feel like it?

    • skytag

      They are not allowed to vote increases for themselves. Any increases in congressional pay do not take effect until after the next election cycle.

      In any case, their pay is quite low given the nature and importance of their jobs. A few years ago the CEO of McDonald’s made 100 times as much to run a chain of fast food restaurants while these guys decide the fate of the country and the world.

      What do I expect? I expect people like you to whine a lot, and you didn’t disappoint.

      • Kevin Merck

        18354 comments – get a life.

  • hal


    • skytag

      They didn’t and haven’t exempted themselves. You have no idea what you’re even talking about.

  • George LaBree

    do you people realize that the USA is the only country in the world that has “For profit healthcare” and we are ranked at 34th in healthcare outcomes…..Obamacare is a good thing, it just didn’t go far enough….but it will.

    • American

      George you need help with Facts, but that is something you will have to admit and work on. The point is Congress, the president and all federal workers should be on the same health care plan, If they want to quit and move to the private sector that is there right and should be allowed to do it, remember they passed it with out reading it the should reap the problems of it as we all will. This should also apply to Social Security which they exempted themselves from and other laws we must follow and they don’t.

      • skytag

        “remember they passed it with out reading it”

        This idiotic claim is based on one stupid, off-the-cuff remark by Nancy Pelosi the right then tattooed to their foreheads so they could trot it out as some kind of universal truth. Until the bill was passed it would be continually amended and tweaked. As a result it wouldn’t be truly be finalized until it was passed. The idea that no one read it is just stupid. The various versions were online for anyone to read. I read parts of them myself. Organizations had people with expertise in health care read it and discuss it. I remember reading one such discussion myself in Consumer Reports.

        Claiming no one read it is typical of the kind of pathological dishonesty I’ve come to expect from the right these days. It’s particularly annoying knowing the same people who trot this Nancy Pelosi quote out ad nauseum as if it’s truth are the same people would any other time would dismiss anything Pelosi said because they hate her so much.

        • revdto

          Did you read ALL of it? Of course not. It is ridiculous to think that anyone read all of the thousands of pages before it was passed. And “various versions” do not tell the whole story. Now that all of the consequences are beginning to come to light this disaster of a law is being seen for the ruinous mess it is. Why do you think the Unions now want an exemption? Why do you think the employer mandate was illegally postponed? They didn’t foresee those problems because of the monstrous size and legal complexity of the bill, which means they didn’t know about everything in the bill which means, they didn’t read all of it. This is a classic case of “the devil is in the details” and is typical of the foolishness and deception practiced by those on the left.

        • Tuan Xingho

          Wow! You used the term “pathological dishonesty” without attributing it to Obama? In what world are you living in?

      • skytag

        “The point is Congress, the president and all federal workers should be on the same health care plan,”

        That’s how it’s been for a long time. They’re all on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. Thanks to an amendment proposed by Republican Senator Charles Grassley Section 1312(d)(3)(D) was added, requiring members of Congress and members of their staffs to get off the FEHBP plan and get their insurance through the state exchanges.

        • revdto

          This is just what the article is talking about. Did you even read the article? You are obviously a Democrat and just in case you need to read it, here’s the quote. “Lawmakers and their staff will now be exempt from a provision, which could force them to buy into the system the same way we do. They will continue to receive the subsidies they currently get regardless of the amendment, which could now make this against the law set forth in the Patient Care Act. Now lawmakers and staff will not feel the swift kick in the gut that the rest of us will.”

      • skytag

        “George you need help with Facts, but that is something you will have to admit and work on…This should also apply to Social Security which they exempted themselves from”

        Too funny.

        “Prior to 1984, neither federal civil service employees nor Members of Congress paid Social Security taxes, nor were they eligible for Social Security benefits. Members of Congress and other federal employees were instead covered by a separate pension plan called the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). The 1983 amendments to the Social Security Act (P.L. 98-21) required federal employees first hired after 1983 to participate in Social Security. These amendments also required all Members of Congress to participate in Social Security as of January 1, 1984, regardless of when they first entered Congress.” — Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress, August 9, 2013

        Yes, that’s right, members of Congress have been participating in Social Security for almost 30 years. Talk about needing help with facts. You are obviously a Republican.

      • StrangerInAStrangeLand1

        The private sector, aka, Group Health Plans will be gutted by the ACA (that’s the plan). They want everybody on individual plans, paying through the nose, with no pre-tax money funding your health insurance and with no employer/broker/agent there to assist and protect. Follow the money!

    • jbo5112

      Since when is it a good thing for the US Government to violate its own laws and govern us in illegal ways? The US is (or recently was) ranked #1 out of 191 countries for “responsiveness to the needs and choices of the individual patient.” What more could you want out of a health care system? I suppose I don’t have a ranking for our overall health level, but part of that blame has to lie with eating habits in the US. We consume upwards of 10-14 lbs of sugar just from drinking Coca Cola(tm),150+ total pounds of various sugars (beet, cane, corn, etc.), around 29 pounds of french fries, and 30+ pounds of cheese per person per year every year.

      The overall performance index by the World Health Organization (which I’m assuming is where you’re getting the ranking) is adjusted to reflect how well WHO officials believe that a country could have done in relation to its resources. Do you really want to measure the US by a stick that gauges how socialist we are and downgrade us because Mark Zuckerberg (with 5,300 employees and 1+ billion customers) will spend a smaller percentage of his money on healthcare than a nearly jobless 29 year old who spends every free night and weekend eating McD’s and drinking himself sick?

      “The Nobel Prizes in medicine and physiology have been awarded to more Americans than to researchers in all other countries combined. Eight of the 10 top-selling drugs in the world were developed by U.S. companies. The U.S. has some of the highest breast, colon and prostate cancer survival rates in the world. And our country ranks first or second in the world in kidney transplants, liver transplants, heart transplants, total knee replacements, coronary artery bypass, and percutaneous coronary interventions.

      “We have the shortest waiting time for nonemergency surgery in the world; England has one of the longest. In Canada, a country of 35 million citizens, 1 million patients now wait for surgery and another million wait to see specialists.”


  • edwr

    These people have absolutely NO sense of fair play whatsoever. This is the epitome of self serving GREED!