Currently, members of Congress and their staff receive health care coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP). The FEHBP allows individuals to choose from a set of options to pick the health plan that is right for them. As with any employer-based health plan, the federal government (the employer) can contribute to the health care premium of the employee and the contributions are not included in taxes.
However, Section 1312 of Obamacare requires that all members of Congress and congressional staff must either get their health care coverage from a health plan created by Obamacare or through an Obamacare exchange.
Obamacare exchanges do not allow tax-exempt employer contributions to health care premiums. The only subsidies available to individuals on Obamacare are the premium tax credits for individuals who are under 400 percent of the federal poverty line .
The idea was, if Congress is going to write a law that forces tens of thousands of Americans on Obamacare through the individual mandate, Congress should be prepared to share in that experience.
But now the administration is defeating the purpose of that idea by allowing special treatment for members of Congress and their staff. Instead of going on Obamacare and abiding by the same laws and requirements as everyone else in it, members of Congress can now receive tax-exempt contributions from their employer (the federal government) to their health care premiums on the Obamacare exchange. This will create one set of rules for the American people and a different set of rules for Congress.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/325201-no-congressional-obamacare-exemptions#ixzz2gQZpbEbS
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