Senator sues administration over special Obamacare subsidy for Congress

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A U.S. lawmaker filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the Obama administration over the special subsidies members of Congress and their staff enjoy when purchasing health insurance plans through the Obamacare exchange. 

This marks the second time in less than a week that a sitting U.S. senator made such an announcement. Kentucky’s Rand Paul revealeded Friday his intention to file a class action lawsuit against the National Security Agency for its spying activities on American citizens.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., alleged in a lawsuit against the Office of Personnel Management that because the subsidies are not available to the public, they are “completely unfair and unjust,” according to the Maclver Institute.

Without the subsidies, lawmakers’ insurance under the Obamacare exchange would have increased by $5,000 to $11,000 annually.

According to the institute’s report:

On August 1st, President Obama granted members of Congress and their staffs a waiver in which the government would make up for that increased cost with special contributions. Johnson says this is special treatment and that the President is not authorized to make that kind of decision. OPM then wrote the rule to enact the President’s waiver.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the lawsuit against OPM on Johnson’s behalf in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on Monday.

“Time and time again we have seen the Obama administration ignore the Constitution and federal law in its implementation of Obamacare. Now, without any legal authority whatsoever, it wants to exempt Congress from living by the same set of rules as their constituents,” Rick Esenberg, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty’s president, said in a statement Monday. “We are taking a stand with Senator Johnson against the continued lawlessness of the Obama Administration.”

Not all Republicans are enthused about Johnson’s suit — including fellow Sen. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin.

“Senator Johnson should spend his time legislating rather than litigating as our country is facing big problems that must be addressed by Congress – not the courts,” Sensenbrenner said in a press release. “All Republicans want to repeal Obamacare, but this politically motivated lawsuit only takes public attention away from how bad all of Obamacare really is and focuses it on a trivial issue. Fortunately, Senator Johnson’s suit is likely frivolous and will not achieve the result he’s seeking.”

Johnson told Fox News’ “The Kelly File” host Megyn Kelly about the lawsuit Monday, answering Sensenbrenner’s objections. Watch the interview below:


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