24 Republicans Not Practicing What They Preached About Obamacare


Among their many anti-Obamacare gambits during the government shutdown debacle, House Republicans voted to strip federal employer contributions for health insurance from themselves and their staffs.

It was a problem of their own making. A GOP-pushed amendment to the Affordable Care Act had required members of Congress and their staffs to purchase health coverage through the law’s health insurance marketplace. Later, after outcry from staffers who were facing what amounted to a significant pay cut, the federal Office of Personnel Management said that they could still use the employer contribution from the federal government to help pay for it.

The GOP said that wasn’t fair. So they voted on Sept. 30, on the eve of shutdown, to fund the government but prevent themselves and their staffs from using that employer contribution — the so-called Vitter amendment, named for Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who pushed the policy. It passed with 228 votes (nine Democrats joined 219 Republicans).

“One of our core principles is equality under the law. The President gave special exemptions to big business, Congress, and his political allies. But he refused to give the same relief to working families. That is fundamentally unfair,” House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) said in a statement after the vote. “We will take action to give people the same relief the President gave big businesses, and we will take away the special deal for Congress.”

After the shutdown dust settled, House Republicans had a chance to practice what they preached. They could decline the employer contribution. Several outspoken proponents of the policy in the Senate — Vitter and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — have done that.

But, based on this roll call vote and the Washington Post’s tracking of what health insurance option Congress members are choosing, 24 House Republicans aren’t. Ryan and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are among them. Just two months ago, they voted to prevent themselves from receiving what they had called a special exemption under Obamacare.

Now they’re benefitting from it.

Below are the members who the Washington Post recorded as enrolling through the D.C. marketplace with no note that they would decline their employer contribution and who voted on Sept. 30 to strip those contributions for themselves and their staff:

Howard Coble (R-NC)

Rodney Davis (R-IL)

Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)

Bob Latta (R-OH)

Billy Long (R-MO)

Frank Lucas (R-OK)

Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)

Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

Jeff Miller (R-FL)

Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)

Kristi Noem (R-SD)

Bill Posey (R-FL)

Tom Reed (R-NY)

Reid Ribble (R-WI)

Tom Rice (R-SC)

Phil Roe (R-TN)

Peter Roskam (R-IL)

Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Austin Scott (R-GA)

Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)

John Shimkus (R-IL)

Pat Tiberi (R-OH)

Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)

Frank Wolf (R-VA)