Tags: Barack Obama | David Vitter | Senate staff | Obamacare | exchanges

Vitter: Put Senate Staff in Obamacare Exchanges

By    |   Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 01:06 PM

The Senate Republican Conference on Thursday is scheduled to debate two resolutions proposed by Louisiana Sen. David Vitter to require that all GOP staffers to participate in the District of Columbia’s Obamacare exchange.

Vitter’s proposal challenges Democratic senators to do the same the same.

When President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act was approved in 2010 on a mostly party-line vote, it included an amendment, introduced by GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, requiring that members of Congress and their staffs obtain health insurance through the exchanges. It meant that taxpayer-funded healthcare subsidies (worth an estimated $5,000 to S11,000 per year) which currently go to members’ personal staffs would end.

Democratic and Republican staffers bitterly protested, so during the August 2013 congressional recess, Obama ordered the Office of Personnel Management to interpret the law to mean the opposite of what it said: that congressional staffers would retain the benefits.

Currently, some staffers are able to avoid participating in the exchanges if their bosses designate them "official staff" enabling them to retain their coverage under the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan.

As a result, staffers’ health insurance plans differ widely between congressional offices.

The National Review reports that current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell required all of his staffers to join the exchanges, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid permitted “leadership staff” to opt out.

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The Senate Republican Conference on Thursday is scheduled to debate two resolutions proposed by Louisiana Sen. David Vitter to require that all GOP staffers to participate in the District of Columbia's Obamacare exchange.
David Vitter, Senate staff, Obamacare, exchanges
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2014-06-13
Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 01:06 PM
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