No, Health Reform Doesn’t Give Congress Special Treatment
The oft-repeated claim that the Obama administration is giving members of Congress and their staffs special treatment under the Affordable Care Act “is simply false,” CBPP President Robert Greenstein explains in Politico. “Although they will be required to enroll in health plans offered within the new health-insurance exchanges established under the law, members of Congress and their staffs will not receive extra financial help to pay for their medical care.” Here’s an excerpt:
Critics are angry because the administration has confirmed that members of Congress and their staffs can continue to receive employer contributions to cover part of their premium costs. But that’s not special treatment. Today, most large employers do the same — the federal government, which provides coverage for members of Congress, their staffs and other federal employees, is no different.
In reality, it’s the critics — as part of their ongoing assault on the health care law — who are seeking special treatment for Congress, by proposing to make members and their staffs the only workers in the United States whose employer is barred by law from helping to cover their premiums. There’s no reason to discriminate against members and their staffs in this way, especially when doing so would make it more difficult to recruit and retain high-caliber congressional staff.