Beginning 2014, members of Congress and their aides will be required to receive health insurance through ObamaCare’s newly formed state exchanges, though a new deal may mean they won’t see an increase in costs.
Because rewrites by Harry Reid of the original Grassley amendment were unread but voted upon, members of Congress could face the denial of subsidies and thousands of dollars a year in out-of-pocket insurance costs. In a closed door meeting with President Obama last week, Obama said the issue would soon be resolved and a deal with the Office of Personnel Management was made until the language of the provision could be clarified.
According to Congressional leadership aides the deal was struck before the August recess, and will allow the government to continue making contributions to health care premiums for members of Congress and their staffers.
The provision was caused by the original text of the Affordable Care Act, when Sen. Chuck Grassley qualified that Congress members and their aides must be covered by plans “created by the law or “offered through an exchange”.
Some veteran staff members are expected to retire before 2014, in an effort to avoid spikes in health care costs.
The OPM, which oversees the compensation system for the federal civilian workforce, is expected to issue guidance next week on resolving the issue.