The latest Republican plan to repeal Obamacare includes a new, familiar caveat: an amendment that conveniently protects members of Congress from their own destructive policies, while inflicting great harm on the rest of America.
In their desperation for a legislative win in the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency, Republicans have hastily cobbled together an even worse health care plan than the one that failed a few weeks ago.
The new plan is crueler, and although it has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office, appears to throw even more people off of their insurance, while making it less comprehensive and more expensive for those who can still afford it.
But just as they exempted themselves from paying the lion's share of their own premiums in the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have slipped in a provision to protect themselves from their new law's attacks on your health care. While the state where you live could opt to charge you more because of your age or medical condition, or drop essential benefits like maternity care, those changes would not apply to members of Congress and their staff:
The waivers would not apply to CO-OPs or multi-state plans or to the Basic Health program, 1332 state innovation waivers, the section of the ACA that allows sale of insurance across state lines through interstate compacts, or the provision that requires members of Congress to purchase coverage through the exchanges. Members of Congress are not going to lose essential health benefits or be subject to health status underwriting.
These provisions are likely to add to the 24 million people whom the CBO projected would lose their health care coverage under the first Republican plan. One thing that is certain, though, is that none of the 250 or so Republicans who support this plan will be among them.