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Lawmakers Sign Up for Obamacare and Turn the Process Into a Political Circus

Daily Ticker

Many Americans are scrambling to sign up for 2014 health insurance before the Dec. 23 deadline on Healthcare.gov.

These Americans include the very lawmakers who voted for the Affordable Care Act (and who, in some cases, fought tooth-and-nail against it). Like the rest of America, some lawmakers are encountering problems with the site, some are refusing to sign up, and others are delighted to find that they have lower premiums and better coverage.

It appears that reactions to Obamacare are falling along party lines.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) had a positive experience with the site, saying it took him about 30 minutes to sign up for a plan and that he’s paying roughly the same amount of money in premiums.

Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) has said that he’s paying significantly less for healthcare premiums under the Affordable Health Act. She’s saving about $120 a month.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), are just some of the Republican lawmakers who are grandstanding against the bill.

“Despite multiple attempts, I was unable to get past that point and sign up for a health plan. We’ve got a call into the help desk. Guess I’ll just have to keep trying,” says Boehner.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) tweeted his frustration with the Obamacare website, saying it crashed three times in one afternoon. Once he was able to sign up he found that his premium had increased by nearly double.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has said he will forgo insurance and pay the penalty fee instead of signing up for Obamacare.

“Too many people in my district have lost their insurance because of Obamacare…and because of Obamacare, the remaining insurance is just too expensive. So I’m not going to have insurance, it looks like,” he told Politico in an interview.  

"There are a lot of options, actually," says Olivier Knox, Chief Washington Correspondent for Yahoo News. "A lot of members of Congress are, let's face it, old white men. They could qualify for Medicare so they don't have to go online and sign up for the exchange." 

“You can see the politics pretty clearly here,”  says Knox. “No one is being all that quiet about what they’re doing because the point here is to maximize the political benefits from your decision.”

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