In the End, Switching Congress to Obamacare Will Probably Be Good For All of Us


Back in 2009, Republican members of Congress thought it would be cute to require Congress itself to be covered under Obamacare. They should be willing to eat their own dog food, no? Now they’re finding out that private coverage can be pretty expensive, and they’re not happy about it. Ryan Cooper approves:

The fact that Members of Congress are now having an unpleasant brush with the American health care system is a good thing. These Members are experiencing the same American health care system that the uninsured and people with preexisting conditions have been experiencing for many years. They are being forced to face the fact that American health care costs a lot, which, of course, is one of the reasons reform is so hard.

….Finally, wealthy members of congress are getting a tiny, tiny taste of how the healthcare sector actually works. Five decades of skyrocketing health price inflation didn’t inspire so much as a peep when Republicans held all three branches of government. But now that Republicans have derped themselves onto the exchanges, they’re shocked, shocked at how expensive things have gotten.

….Now that Members of Congress are having bad health care experiences, D.C. will probably have one of the best exchanges in the entire country. When it comes to health insurance, Congress and regular people will be at least within shouting distance of each other.

So far, the travails of their own employees aren’t having much of an effect on congressional Republicans. But I think Cooper is right: eventually, when Obamacare Derangement Syndrome calms down, the fact that Hill staffers are keenly and personally aware of how the law affects them will be good for all of us. Members of Congress will be more willing to fix glitches and more willing to keep coverage generous. Emotions are still running too high for this to affect things right now, but in another year or two that will probably change.

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