While President Obama heralds the more than 7 million health insurance signups through the Affordable Care Act, House Speaker John Boehner made it clear today he’s still ticked off about his own insurance rates going up.
“I can give you hundreds of letters from my constituents who have been harmed by this law. My insurance premiums nearly doubled. My co-pays and deductibles tripled under ‘Obamacare,’” the Ohio Republican said today.
Boehner has lamented his own insurance rates previously, which were forced to change along with other older government workers when the existing federal employee healthcare system moved to the District of Columbia’s new exchange, which was mandated by president’s signature law. Boehner and his wife Debbie’s monthly premium were originally $433 a month and their deductible $700. Debbie Boehner went into Medicare when she turned 65 and the speaker opted for a plan similar to his old one, which brought their premium to $800 and deductible to the $2,000 range, according to Politico.
This week House Republicans are focusing on overturning a provision of the law which defines a full-time worker as one with a 30-hour work week. Obamacare’s opponents say it encourages employers to cut hours to circumvent the law’s provision mandating companies to provide insurance for full time employees.
“It will hurt young workers trying to save for college or to buy their first home. An overwhelming majority of those hurt by the 30-hour rule are women, many of them single moms trying to make ends meet,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor said at a news conference with Boehner. “The workers most hurt by these wage cuts will be those who earn the least.”
Although Democrats are celebrating the Obamacare enrollment numbers this week, Boehner and his colleagues applauded the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down aggregate political donation limits by individuals. The speaker said it was a victory for the First Amendment.
“What I think this means is that freedom of speech is being upheld,” he said in response to a question on the influence of money in politics. “[The media has] the freedom to write what [they] want to write. Donors ought to have the freedom to give what they want to give. Remember, all this goes back to this bizarre McCain- Feingold bill that was passed, that has distorted the political process in ways that no one — no one who voted for it ever believed in.”
The 2002 McCain-Feingold bill was sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Russell Feingold, a former Democratic senator from Wisconsin. The law imposed campaign contribution limits on outside groups.