Senior staffers working for Democratic members of Congress are being pulled in two directions. They have to support at least the idea of the Affordable Care Act while seeking ways to exempt themselves from the mandate.
The Affordable Care Act’s rollout gave congressional staffers a major case of sticker shock, leading many chiefs of staff to call for a rules change, according to The Hill.
Because “official office staff” employees are subject to the Affordable Care Act, they are lumped into the District of Columbia’s exchange. As a result, their premiums are ballooning to three to four times over their previous costs. Unofficial staff members, however, may keep their federal employee plans.
Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisc., called plans under the exchange “simply unaffordable” in an email Thursday to other Democratic staff chiefs.
The Hill reported:
Under ObamaCare, lawmakers and their staff were required to leave the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program in order to obtain health coverage on the new marketplaces.
Republicans advocated for the provision as a way to impose the Affordable Care Act’s new insurance system on Capitol Hill.
And now that they have it, they don’t much like it.
The problem is one of timing. The deadline for making staff designations was Oct. 31, but it was difficult to calculate the final insurance costs under the exchange until November.
“I am asking for a solution now though because I will lose staff in my office because of this snafu,” Ta wrote in his email, The Hill reported. “I mentioned to payroll and House [administration] that it was unfair for our offices to make this designation without allowing our staff the ability [to] actually go on the [marketplace] to compare rates.”
While staff members continue to gripe about the disastrous effect Obamacare is having on their own health expenses, they continue to champion it to their constituents.
“We’re strong, strong supporters of the [Affordable Care Act],” said Moore’s press secretary, Staci Moore.
When The Hill contacted him about his email, Ta said he’s “not trying to blame anybody,” especially the White House, but he feels lawmakers and staff are being unfairly singled out from other federal employees not subject to Obamacare.
The solution, then, is simple. Make all federal employees subject to the Affordable Care Act. Somehow, I don’t believe that would satisfy Ta, though.
If you haven’t already, check out Dana Perino shares amazing personal, secret Bush WH story
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