WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) weighed in on the race for the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and highlighted the results of its latest poll that shows 7 in 10 Americans want the next Speaker to reverse the special Washington exemption from ObamaCare.

Today Congress and staff enjoy a unique distinction outside the law—they get a 75 percent subsidy for Gold Level ObamaCare coverage, even though their incomes are too high to qualify for ObamaCare’s normal subsidies. Staff can even opt out entirely. That’s just flat wrong according to 70.7 percent of Americans according to the new poll.

“Paul Ryan, or whoever becomes Speaker, would be wise to treat revoking Congress’ special exemption from ObamaCare as an opportunity to improve Congress’ standing with the American people,” said IWV President and CEO Heather R. Higgins. “Americans want to see Congress and their staff live under the law as written, and experience the law the same as others who have lost their insurance and been required to go on the exchanges. At a minimum, it would lead to better policymaking as Congress would feel the real world effect of the laws.”

Across all demographics polled – women (70 percent), Hispanics (68 percent), African-Americans (63 percent), liberals (62 percent) and conservatives (80 percent) – strong majorities support removing this special treatment for Washington. Roughly seven in ten Americans (71.3 percent) think that it is either “very” or “somewhat” important that outgoing Speaker John Boehner’s successor remove this accommodation (versus 23.8 percent who consider it “just a little bit” or “not at all” important).

“This is clearly a fairness issue,” Higgins said. “It’s simply un-American that the political class would create a special exemption for themselves while their constituents suffer the consequences of a bad law. It is unconscionable that Congress gets relief and opt-outs while so many Americans get none.”

In both the House and Senate, legislation has been introduced that would reverse this special exemption for Congress. In the House, it’s Rep. DeSantis’ (R-Fla.) H.R. 1953; in the Senate, it’s Sen. Vitter’s (R-La.) S. 16.

Higgins continued, “Whoever is the next Speaker should immediately move H.R. 1953 for a clean vote – it’s principled policy and potent politics, and will go a long way towards reassuring the country that Congress may finally be on the right track.”

Independent Women’s Voice operates “No Washington Exemption,” a project dedicated to equal treatment for all under ObamaCare.


Independent Women’s Voice is a 501(c)(4) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization for mainstream women, men and families. IWV is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Forum. To learn more, please visit NoWashingtonExemption.org and IWVoice.org.