One of the unspoken complaints about Obamacare (in addition to it soaking up all and then some of the $380/year in low gas price “savings” as a result of the oil plunge) is that if it was so good for the general population, then why are most Congressional staffers exempt from its provisions? That is about to change after Senate Republican staffers will be required to obtain health insurance through ObamaCare’s exchanges under a rule passed Wednesday by the GOP Conference.
According to Politico, the proposal from Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) means that Senate Republicans will designate their staff as “official,” moving them automatically onto the marketplaces.
A loophole used in both chambers allows lawmakers to designate staff as “unofficial” or “official staff,” which permits them to keep their insurance coverage under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.
“Republican senators made a strong, principled statement today in passing my resolution,” Vitter said in a statement. “Washington should have to live under ObamaCare just like everybody else until we repeal it. And we won’t be complicit in Obama’s illegal rule designed to protect Washington insiders.”
Vitter is an outspoken critic of some lawmakers’ decision to keep their staff off the marketplaces.
He also opposes the employer subsidy for insurance given to lawmakers and staff by the government, arguing it gives Congress an unfair advantage. The question of whether staffers will still receive financial help to pay for their coverage was not addressed in Wednesday’s resolution.
The Republican policy applies to all staff regardless of whether they work in a personal, committee or leadership office. Cloakroom and other aides are also included.
And with Republicans jumping all in on Obamacare, now it is the Democrats turn:
The GOP Conference challenged Senate Democrats to adopt a similar policy and not allow their aides to remain on the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.