Does Obamacare limit health care coverage for Congress?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 1312, signed into law on Mar. 23, 2010, available at www.thomas.gov, states:
"REQUIREMENT- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are-
(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or
(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act)
(ii) DEFINITIONS- In this section:
I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS- The term 'Member of Congress' means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.'"
Charles Grassley, MA, US Senator (R-IA), stated in a Sep. 30, 2009 press release titled "Grassley Amendment Makes Congress Obtain Coverage from Health Care Plan Established in Reform Bill," published on the Senate Finance Committee's website:
"Senator Chuck Grassley has won approval for his legislation to require that members of Congress and congressional staff access health insurance through the exchange that would be created by the health care reform legislation under consideration by the Finance Committee.
Currently, members of Congress and their staffs participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The exchange that would be established by the pending legislation is modeled after this federal employees' program and designed to give participants the same kind of choices and options for health care coverage as federal employees...
'My interest in having Members of Congress participate in the exchange is consistent with my long-held view that Congress should live under the same laws it passes for the rest of the country.'"
[Editors Note:In March 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590), the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HR 4872), and Executive Order 13535 which restricted federal funds from being used for abortion services. Pro, Con, or Not Clearly Pro or Con positions made prior to the final wording of these three elements of the health care reform legislation may have changed since March 2010.]