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Ron DeSantis Leads the Charge Against Congressional Obamacare Exemptions

April 21, 2015 - 6:00pm

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., a possible U.S. Senate candidate in 2016, took a larger role in the fight against President Barack Obamas federal health-care law on Wednesday, leading the charge to end congressional exemptions from the law.

DeSantis announced on Wednesday that he was the House sponsor of U.S. Sen. David Vitters, R-La., bill ensuring members of Congress and congressional staffers do not receive subsidies -- $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family -- under Obamas law, treating them as every other American under the law. The bill also ensures congressional offices are not treated as small businesses and exempt from the law.

Congress needs to get right with the law, DeSantis said on Wednesday. When Americans struggle under the burdens of laws such as Obamacare, they don't have the luxury of not complying.

Congress must abide by the laws that they pass, and putting the political elite above both the law and their constituents is unacceptable, DeSantis added. This is a simple issue of fairness: members of Congress, their staff, and the political elite should not be given special relief from the harmful effects of Obamacare.

With U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., running for the presidency instead of a second term in the Senate, DeSantis has thrown his name into the mix as a possible candidate to replace him.

The Senate passed Vitters bill at the end of March

Weve sent a message that we won't be complicit in Obama's special taxpayer-funded exemption designed to protect Washington insiders, Vitter said when his bill passed. Washington should have to live under Obamacare just like everybody else until we finally repeal it.

Despite Republican control of the U.S. House, Vitters bill garnered little traction there. Last month, when the House clerks office claimed to be exempt from Obamas health-care law so it could take part in the D.C. Small Business Exchange retaining its taxpayer-funded employer contribution, Vitter wrote U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and urged him to back his bill

Large organizations including Congress certainly should not take advantage of systems in place that are meant solely for small businesses, and that includes Washingtons Obamacare exemption, said Vitter when he sent the letter to Boehner. We are seeking accountability within the body that creates this nations laws and, like it or not, gave America Obamacare. Its completely unacceptable for Congress to continue being exempt from Obamacare.

Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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