his behalf — signed up for the ‘bronze’ plan. House Speaker John
Boehner signed up, too, and said his premiums doubled.
count President Obama.
Over the weekend, while he was vacationing in Hawaii, Mr. Obama signed
up for Obamacare — although he didn’t do the actual enrolling and he
doesn’t really need the coverage, since he gets his medical care from
Here’s what happened. The president selected a less expensive “bronze
plan” from the District of Columbia exchange with a monthly premium
that’s under $400. He chose the plan, but his staff went in person to
enroll him — though just him, not the first family.
Quoting an unnamed White House official, Politico reported: “Like some
Americans, the complicated nature of the president’s case required an
in-person sign-up,” the official said. “As you’d expect, the
president’s personal information is not readily available in the
variety of government databases HealthCare.gov uses to verify
The Obama sign-up was all about solidarity — to show support for the
new insurance marketplaces that unofficially bear his name.
The experience didn’t go quite as smoothly for many at the other end
of Pennsylvania Avenue. Earlier this month, House Speaker John Boehner
(R) of Ohio, told reporters that he spent “three or four hours” trying
to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. His premiums
When asked by a reporter why he didn’t just pay the penalty and wait a
year until he’s eligible for Medicare, the speaker replied: “Well, the
thought crossed my mind. My health insurance premiums are going to
double. My co-pays and deductibles triple under Obamacare. I’m
thrilled to death, as you can tell.”
The Affordable Care Act requires that members of Congress and most of
their staffs join the District’s exchange, if they want to continue to
keep receiving their employer contribution — paid for by taxpayers of
course, but the idea is in keeping with many private companies that
contribute to their employees’ health plans.
The Washington Post reported Dec. 9 that at least 55 senators of both
parties are enrolling in the exchange, called DC Health Link. Sen.
Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, who is a possible presidential contender
and vociferous critic of Obamacare, also enrolled in the DC exchange —
a process that took him more than two hours, according to the
Lexington Herald Leader.
Speaker Boehner describes his frustrations in his blog. On Nov. 21, he
entered his personal information on the exchange site and received an
error message. He finally gave up and called the DC exchange’s help
In an update he notes: “They called back a few hours later, and after
re-starting the process on the website two more times, I just heard
from DC Health Link that I have been successfully enrolled.” Of
course, a photographer was on hand to record him sitting at his
In Washington, politics is never far from policy, especially when it
comes to Obamacare.