Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Senate will defeat this

As the Senate grinds through 20 hours of debate on the health care reconciliation bill, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Tuesday night offered an amendment that would require the president, vice-president, members of Congress, political appointees and congressional staff to get their federal health benefits through the soon-to-be-created health insurance exchanges.

This group currently gets insurance through a system overseen by the Office of Management and Budget and under the health care bill signed into law today, some of the congressional staff would have to sign up for insurance through the exchanges. But some would be exempted. Politico filed a story Tuesday night pointing out that leadership and committee staff are exempt from having to use the exchanges. This has caused a bit of an uproar on Capitol Hill, with Republicans accusing top Democratic staff of writing a health care law that's not good enough for them to participate in.

"President Obama has publicly advertised that his reforms would give members of the public the same coverage available to Members of Congress," reads a GOP summary of the Grassley measure. "This amendment would ensure that he, his successors, and all his appointed political officials would also have the same coverage members of the public enrolled in the Exchange receive."

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