Senator Rand Paul wants to be president, vowing to “defeat the Washington machine.” But Paul’s recent vote at the Senate Small Business committee has many wondering whether Paul has, in reality, already transformed into a D.C. insider. At issue are illegal Congressional health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act and how Rand Paul is defending them.

The law, by agreed upon amendment, specifically requires that members of Congress and staff live under ObamaCare’s provisions. But obeying the law they enacted required far higher out-of pocket costs for legislators and staff. Under the law, Congress would be subject to the same ObamaCare income and application requirements as the millions of citizens who lost the insurance coverage they "liked."

Many who are critical of the Affordable Care Act saw this fact as so uncomfortable for Congress that the law would not long remain unchanged. The theory was that even Democrats would cross the aisle if Congress itself suffered ObamaCare’s costs as average Americans do. That thought apparently occurred to others and thus was born what can fairly be described as “the aristocrat’s waiver.”

It appears that Rand Paul and other Republicans who say that they object to ObamaCare and who criticize the president for serially waiving statutory provisions for political expedience have no problem doing the same when it comes to their own perks.

Barack Obama, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and congressional leaders from both parties worked quietly and quickly together to make sure Congress got its own administration-ordered exemption. It’s a gold-plated gift that some have described as a White House “bribe” to mollify opposition in Congress that had the potential to rival citizen discontent.

More than 13,000 legislators and their staff are now receiving ObamaCare coverage through the District of Columbia’s Small Business Exchange. By OPM decree, each member of Congress and staff member receives a taxpayer-funded 75 percent subsidy toward the cost of Gold level coverage—irrespective of income. They even got a dedicated help line to avoid the headaches of signing up.

To get this generous gift Congress had to file an application as a “small business” with no more than 50 employees. Senator David Vitter of Louisiana has rightly objected to this arrangement as fraudulent. Indeed, the D.C. Small Business Exchange applications have been provided to the Small Business Committee Vitter chairs that shows someone who works for the House and Senate swearing there were no more than 45 employees in Congress.

But the D.C. Exchange redacted the names of those who signed these forms. Vitter wanted to know who signed them--and who directed them to sign them--so earlier this month he moved to issue a subpoena requiring D.C. officials to testify and to provide the application—without redactions. All nine Democrats on the committee voted against issuing the subpoena but Republicans on the Committee were expected to pass the motion…until Rand Paul turned the vote around. When the dust cleared, five Republicans, led by Paul, had joined the Democrats and the motion failed.

Conservative jaws dropped and Paul came under immediate criticism. He answered that he didn't want to question Congressional staff but preferred a Constitutional amendment that required Congress to live under the same laws that citizens must obey. But he knows perfectly well that measure will never get past Senate Democrats. It was, like so much in “the Washington machine,” yet another example of posturing to deceive.

Is it fair that those Republican Senators, Representatives and staff who fought tooth and nail against ObamaCare should now have to suffer the costs and consequences of passage? This is the very same question that millions of voters (who returned Republicans to a majority in the Senate) are also asking about how ObamaCare has affected them. Why should any legislator be above the law?

It appears that Rand Paul and other Republicans who say that they object to ObamaCare and who criticize the president for serially waiving statutory provisions for political expedience have no problem doing the same when it comes to their own perks.

It’s hard not conclude they've broken faith with those who voted them a majority status. The “Washington Machine” has many defenders—Rand Paul among them.

Ken Hoagland is a long time grassroots advocate who has written extensively on the disconnect between citizens desires and government policies on health care, taxes and education. He recently founded “ArmorGrid.org” to pressure government official to get serious about the dangers to our electrical grid.