Politics

Group launches ad blitz against Congress’ Obamacare benefits

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Bankrupting America has made a six-figure online ad buy slamming Congress’ Obamacare exemption, concluding that lawmakers are “just like you, unless it’s inconvenient.”

The national online ad campaign, titled “Inconvenient,” argues that Congress “should live with the laws it passes.”

Bankrupting America, an educational project of spending-hawk nonprofit Public Notice, released the ad Monday and will air it as a pre-roll video on sites like YouTube, Facebook and Pandora.

The group’s executive director, Gretchen Hamel, charged that “we elected our leaders in Washington to represent us and our best interests, but right now it appears they’re only concerned about their own pocketbooks.”

Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter has proposed an amendment to an unrelated energy bill that would end the subsidies for lawmakers and their staffers. Members of Congress and Hill staffers were forced to participate in the Obamacare exchanges in the first place by an amendment to the Affordable Care Act by Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

Many of the people affected by the amendment make too much money to receive subsidies already available under Obamacare, so their costs would have risen compared to their previous coverage. The White House Office of Personnel Management ruled members of Congress and their staff would receive their own subsidies after Congress began to panic about a “brain drain” of staffer resources as a result.

Public Notice spokesman Bill Riggs told The Daily Caller News Foundation that though Congress allowed Grassley’s amendment to pass, “once they realized how the law impacted them — like many Americans — they wanted no part of it.”

Vitter has had to fight just to get a vote on his proposal. Meanwhile, Democrats have offered several vindictive counter-amendments, including one banning the subsidies to any member found to have visited a prostitute — a jab at Vitter’s 2007 D.C. madam controversy — or to anyone who votes for Vitter’s amendment, even if it fails.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has denied that Congress is getting any special treatment that the average consumer won’t.

“It’s nothing unique that employers help pay for health care,” Reid said at a press conference Thursday.

Critics maintain that Congress will be more open to Obamacare reforms if lawmakers and their employees are forced to experience the full costs.

Public Notice says it is launching its advertising campaign because it just wants Congress subjected to the same laws as the rest of us. “Americans will pay the price for this ill-conceived law and deserve to know whether their representatives will as well,” Hamel concluded.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.