US Sen. Harry Reid (D- Nev.) has allowed some of staff to avoid obtaining Obamcare health insurance through the DC exchange.
Reid, a strong Obamacare supporter, is reportedly the only top Congressional official to give his Capitol Hill employees an exemption, a claim he’s denied.
Subject to certain loopholes, Members of Congress and their staffs are required by law to enroll in a health insurance program through the Obamacare DC exchange, which is the local equivalent to HealthCare.gov. Although not included in the Affordable Care Act, staffers will continue to receive a taxpayer-supported subsidy for their Obamcare health insurance.
According to CNN, “Reid is the exception among the other top congressional leaders. GOP House Speaker John Boehner, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have all directed their staffs to join the exchange, their aides said.”
As The Inqusiitr previously reported, Speaker Boehner saw his monthly health insurance premium double after signing up for Obamacare.
HotAir.com‘s Ed Morrissey quipped that “If Obama can’t even convince the man who shoved ObamaCare through the Senate by parliamentary chicanery, though, how can anyone else believe him?”
In September, Reid — the US Senate majority leader — flatly declared that “We are going to be part of exchanges, that’s what the law says and we’ll be part of that.”
Reid is claiming the CNN report is wrong, adding that “All I did was follow the law. The law says that if you have committee staff, leadership staff, they stay where they are. If you have other staff, which is most everyone, they go to the exchanges.”
According to Yahoo News, 39 senators and their staffs will be covered by Obamacare rather than the existing federal employees insurance program as of January 1. Three Democrats other than Reid have granted exemptions to some of their staff. The other 58 senators have not responded to Yahoo’s inquiry.
In a related development, Congressional staff are having the same difficulties signing up for Obamacare that ordinary citizens have encountered on the national Obamacare portal HealthCare.gov, according to Politico: “They and lawmakers have until Monday to sign up on DC Health Link, the District’s insurance exchange, if they want to maintain the government’s generous employer contribution to their health insurance. But as crunch time approaches, Democratic and Republican staffers are getting error messages, denials, notices that they’re enrolled in multiple plans and incomplete confirmation — as well as a website that went down briefly Thursday.”
Last month, Sen. Reid and his fellow Democrats “detonated” the so-called nuclear option that eliminated the filibuster on the senate floor. This occurred despite the fact that Reid and his colleagues (including then-Sen. Barack Obama) previously spoke out forcefully against any change in the filibuster rule that would undermine minority rights in the chamber.
In what has developed into a major, ongoing controversy, President Obama repeatedly declared “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” when he was selling healthcare reform via the Affordable Care Act to the American people.
Should any staff member in the US Senate be eligible for an Obamacare exemption?