The 60th & deciding vote for Obamacare, Tim Johnson, exempts staffers from Obamacare. Because “that’s the way he wants it.”

Wow. You have to read this story in the Argus Leader to believe it:

During debate on the controversial Affordable Care Act in 2010, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley included a provision in the law to require members of Congress and their “congressional staff” to purchase health insurance through the exchanges. Grassley argued that members of Congress and their staffs should be required to purchase health insurance in the same manner as Americans who are forced to buy insurance on exchanges.

But an exemption in the law allowed congressional staffers who serve on committees or on leadership staffs to continue in the federal health plan rather than the exchanges. The leadership and committee staffers were considered “unofficial” while the staffers who work in the congressional offices were considered “official.”


Andi Fouberg, Thune’s spokeswoman, said Thune decided that all staff under his control will move to the exchanges for their health care next year because he wanted staffers to be treated equally, even though he opposed the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s important to note that all of the Obama administration, the very people who forced this law on the American people, is exempt from the Obamacare exchanges,” Fouberg said.

But Johnson is going in the opposite direction. According to an interview with Politico, Johnson has designated all of his staff as unofficial, which allows them to stay on the federal health insurance plan, known as the FEHB. Unlike Thune, Johnson supported the Affordable Care Act.

“They preferred to go on the FEHB,” Johnson told Politico.“That’s the way I want it, and the subsidy is the same.”

Read it here.

And if you read the story, you’ll note that Noem’s staffers are going on Obamacare just like Thune’s are.

But, for the man who was the deciding vote in the Senate, exempting his staff from Obamacare is “the way he wants it.”

So, why isn’t “the way he wants it” good enough for the rest of South Dakota? Why isn’t it good enough for the rest of the country for that matter?

While the Republicans who vehemently oppose it are placing their staffers on Obamacare, so they’re on the same playing field as the rest of the country, the 60th & deciding vote for Obamacare, Tim Johnson, has exempted staffers from Obamacare.

I’m so flabbergasted by this, I have to repeat it: The 60th & deciding vote for Obamacare, Tim Johnson, exempts staffers from Obamacare.

And “that’s the way he want’s it.”

Heck of an exclamation point to put on the end of a political career, isn’t it?

30 Replies to “The 60th & deciding vote for Obamacare, Tim Johnson, exempts staffers from Obamacare. Because “that’s the way he wants it.””

  1. Anonymous

    Way to go out with a whimper, Senator. Shame on him. At least he’s shown his true colors after fooling South Dakotans for years that he was some sort of moderate or conservative Democrat. Please.

  2. Bernice

    Tim Johnson has always been a hack and a tool. This is just more evidence. He can’t be gone soon enough. And his SON is a tool too! and even bigger tool. remember that people!

    1. Typical Anon

      You sound upset Bernice. Tim Johnson’s son is a “tool?” We need to remember that? Why Bernice? Why are you so upset with U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson?

  3. MC

    You know the answer to this.

    The senior Senator of South Dakota believes himself no longer a servant of the people.

    This story just tells us what is wrong with our govenment.

  4. Guest

    Remember when we had citizen legislators? No, you don’t because they did away with this too many years ago. But way back, just after The Revolution, they sent representatives to Washington just part time. It was designed this way by our Founders because legislators were meant to be regular folks who came back to their districts to live under the same laws that they had just passed. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

    But look what we have today. Tim Johnson just sitting back, mocking us and sticking his finger in all of our eyes, saying … “It’s the way I want it.” But if you really listen between the lines, you can hear him say … “And what are you gonna do about it?”

    Arrogance. Pure Arrogance.

    It’s not always judicious to throw around the descriptor “un-American” but in this case, Tim Johnson is far more King George than he is American.

    So you have Tim Johnson and his ilk to thank for giving rise to the Tea Party.

  5. Nathan Odenbach

    How exactly was Tim Johnson the 60th and deciding vote? His last name starts with a “J”. Roll call and actual voting order goes in accordance with the alphabet. That would put Ron Wyden (last name starts with a “W”) as the 60th vote.

      1. Nathan Odenbach

        So the head of the SD Republican Party said he is the 60th vote, so that must be true?

        Tim Johnson was the 60th and deciding vote if you accept the following assumptions:

        1. The alphabet and actual voting order were mere technicalities.

        2. Any of the 60 senators could be considered the 60th vote.

        There is a similar article that the Ohio Republican Party is using against Sherrod Brown to win that seat back next year. So, based on your link and other state party stories, it looks like the Republican Party’s stance is Assumption #2 heading into the 2014 election cycle.

    1. Ken Santema

      Technically I believe Senator Sanders was the final Yes vote.

      But the point being made there was the ‘deciding vote’ and not the final vote. The theory being his vote was instrumental in getting a total of 60, which is technically true. It really is no different than the Obama saying “If you like your insurance you can keep it”. Neither statements are outright lies, but they are also not straightforward truths.

        1. Goodbye!

          The intent was for Obama to mislead people in order to gain personally from those lies. Funny that the number of people getting kicked off of insurance also happen to be the number of people who he needs to sign up for his system.

          Just a coincidence.

          It’s less concerning to me that the program he advocated for doesn’t work but to look the American people in the eye and mislead them is a great violation of trust and Presidents of the US require having a great trust placed on them by the American people.

          What a sad day for America.

    2. Jim Bryan

      Who cares Johnson is just a hack corrupt politician that knifed his constituents in the back. Obamascare is good enough for the people, but not Prince Timmy or his staff!

  6. Anonymous

    Wasn’t it actually Ben Nelson of Nebraska that was the “60th” vote? Wasn’t he the last holdout before the Democracts had enough votes? Obviously not taking into the official roll call vote as mentioned above.

    1. Nathan Odenbach

      @Anonymous. I think you’re right; Ben Nelson was the last “hold out”, but when it came up for the actual voting of the law, then it’s done in alphabetical order. So while Nelson was the last person to get on board, this article is saying that Johnson was the 60th and decisive vote, and that’s just not true.

      I’m anti-ACA, and I’m not a Democrat or a fan of Johnson, but if you want to call him out for granting exemptions for his staffers, I’m all for it, but let’s not be misleading about how we got here.

  7. Troy Jones

    Nathan, it is #2. There is no Obamacare without the 60th vote and since there were 60 votes for this fiasco, every single one of them is the deciding vote. One change and there is no Obamacare.

  8. Guest

    Doesn’t matter one whit whether Johnson was #60.

    If he hadn’t voted for it, it would not have passed.

    Every single person who loses the plan they liked, every single person who has to pay for someone else’s contraceptives, maternity coverage, and treatment coverage, every person whose premiums rise 300%, and every single person who disagrees with abortion but now has to cover it can all thank Tim Johnson, the Democrats and and every single fellow American who voted for Barack Obama.

  9. Goodbye!

    I will be very happy in 2015 when this guy is gone for good.

    Brendan Johnson doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  10. Ymous

    This hurts Brendan big time. I would use his dads decisions and record against him and this one really burns. He’s got 12 months left, stupid decision and pure arrogance.

    1. Anonymous

      I said the below on PPs next post. I challenge you to refute.

      Ok, then how can Obama selectively enforce the law? It’s like he has a line item veto after the fact with zero congressional oversight. I don’t understand how the executive has gained these almost unlimited powers and under what authority does any president have this right? He usurps the power of the legislature and he consistently challenges the Supremes on the rulings he disagrees with using an activist AG tweeking and challenging these rulings while using the slow wheels of rulings to run out the clock. It’s criminal to me.

  11. Anonymous

    Tim Johnson is a liar and has previously said pretty much anything necessary to get elected. I guess we should be glad he finally dropped the charade and is speaking out in the way he really feels and believes, that he is simply better than all of us. He’s been an arrogant hypocrite for a long time, it’s just that now he doesn’t need us anymore so he no longer cares what we think.

    1. SDJammer

      That was extremely well stated. I do believe that you can substitute “Any Liberal” for “Tim Johnson” in your statement and it would still be very accurate. It evidently is something in their DNA.