KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

A Health Exchange Exemption: Capitol Hill’s Big Headache

There is talk around the halls of Congress regarding whether lawmakers and congressional aides will be given an exemption from a part of the health law that requires them to obtain their health coverage from online insurance marketplaces.

Politico: Obamacare Exemption Talk Lights Up Capitol Hill
The Obamacare war is on in Congress. A top aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent an email to Democratic offices Thursday afternoon, warning that "Republican trackers" are on Independence Avenue asking lawmakers about the effort to rework which health care insurance members of Congress must use (Sherman, 4/25).

Bloomberg/The Washington Post: Aide: Congressional Leaders Consulting On Health Law's Effects On Legislators, Hill Staffers
Congressional leaders are discussing how to mitigate the potential effects of a section of the 2010 health-care law that could cost lawmakers and their employees subsidies for health insurance, an aide said. The Affordable Care Act included a provision requiring members of Congress and their staffs to obtain insurance from online marketplaces set to open in 2014. The exchanges will sell insurance to Americans who don’t have health-care coverage from their employers (Wayne and Hunter, 4/25).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Obamacare Gives Hill Big Headaches
President Barack Obama's health-care law could cause big headaches for members of Congress and their staff, but efforts to address the potential problem are drawing complaints that congressional leaders are trying to protect their own. At issue is a provision that requires lawmakers and their staff to participate in the health-insurance exchanges that are being set up to help individuals who do not have group coverage to get affordable policies (Hook, 4/25).

Roll Call: Health Insurance Anxiety On Capitol Hill
Lawmakers and congressional staff members are concerned about whether the federal government will continue to pay part of their premiums as they move to buying insurance through the exchanges next year. The 2010 health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) requires lawmakers and their personal staff to buy insurance through the exchanges, a provision originally added by Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa (Ethridge, 4/25).

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