Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chairman David Vitter is questioning why Congress is able to get its health care through the Small Business Health Options Plan (SHOP) – which requires a business to have 50 or less employees – when the tax forms provided list Congress as a large employer.
In a letter written to Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen Wednesday, the Louisiana Republican said it appears Congress is “misrepresenting itself to either DC Health Link or the IRS” and questioned whether the contradiction violates the Internal Revenue Code.
While the Affordable Care Act required lawmakers and their staff to buy insurance through state or federal exchanges, the Office of Personnel Management exempted them by qualifying Congress as a small business, allowing them to buy health care using DC Health Link to keep employer subsidies.
The senator argued the exemption “undermined confidence in government” by providing an employer contribution for premiums paid for by U.S. taxpayers that every other American purchasing Obamacare doesn’t receive.
“Congress can’t have it both ways – it cannot be both a small employer and a large employer, and we all know which it is. It’s utterly absurd that Congress was allowed to claim to be a small business just to keep the taxpayer-funded Obamacare exemption, but is now telling the IRS that it’s a large employer,” Vitter said in a statement. “Our ongoing mission is to maintain and uphold the government’s credibility in the eyes of all Americans, and to make Washington live under Obamacare just like the rest of the country has been forced to accept.”