Thanks to an amendment by Senator Chuck Grassley, The Affordable Care Act throws Congress out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The law states that “the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff…shall be health plans that are created under this Act…or offered through an Exchange established under this Act…”
Enrollment is required starting on October 1st . With that reality looming, nerves are on edge on Capitol Hill. Under the current program, the government covers almost 75% of premium payments for Congress and staff. But the Obamacare insurance marketplaces are meant for individuals, not employers. That means that the health plan costs would fall squarely on members’ shoulders. That is, if Congress doesn’t exempt itself from the laws it imposes on other Americans.
No surprise, the Office of Personnel Management is set to release regulations this week that allow the government to continue to contribute toward the cost of health plans for Congress and congressional staff.
Just to make sure that this doesn’t look too much like self-dealing favoritism, according to an administration official: “No ands, ifs or buts. They will not be eligible in any way for subsidies or tax credits”.