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I hear this on radio talk shows every now and then (mostly republican) that congress has exempted themselves from Obama care, that is how good it is.

For example:

How the White House is weaseling Congress out of ObamaCare.

I have searched online and there are articles that seem to say that congress opted themselves out and their staff from Obama care from fear of high cost may be or poor coverage etc I don't really know. This reuter article throws some light on this

When Congress passed the health reform law known as Obamacare in 2010, an amendment required that lawmakers and their staff members purchase health insurance through the online exchanges that the law created. They would lose generous coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

The amendment's author, Republican Senator Charles Grassley, argued that if Obamacare plans were good enough for the American public, they were good enough for Congress. Democrats, eager to pass the reforms, went along with it.

But it soon became apparent the provision contained no language that allowed federal contributions toward their health plans that cover about 75 percent of the premium costs.

I am skeptical that it can be true. If it is so good and good for every one, why would they opt out. Did they really opt out of ObamaCare or may be I am missing something?

  • They didn't "opt out". "The provision contained no language that allowed federal contributions toward their health plans that cover about 75 percent of the premium costs." – user5582 Aug 28 '13 at 19:36
  • I am not sure what this means. I have some vague idea though. That means there was loophole in the provision itself? – Believer Aug 28 '13 at 19:38
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From http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/07/usa-health-congress-idUSL1N0G820F20130807 (I know this is the same article referenced in the question. It seems the asker doesn't doubt its accuracy, but is just not sure how to interpret it.)

Congress members are required to purchase insurance through the online exchanges. Other federal employees are not, and can stay on their current plan.

However, the act failed to allow for federal employer contributions to the congress members' premiums (something they'd been receiving until now, and that other federal employees staying on their current, non-exchange policies will continue to receive).

Until now, most federal employees, including congress members and their staff, receive contributions towards their health insurance premiums under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

The latest ruling by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is that

the federal contributions will be allowed to continue for exchange-purchased plans for lawmakers and their staffs, ensuring that those working on Capitol Hill will effectively get the same health contributions as millions of other federal workers who keep their current plan.


Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

  • Most federal employees, including congress members and staff received employer contributions towards their health insurance premiums

After ACA:

  • Federal employees that are not congress members or staff can continue using their current health insurance, and continue receiving the employer contributions
  • Congress members and their staff must switch to an exchange provided plan, and are not (save for the exception granted by the OPM) eligible for employer contributions to cover those premiums

After OPM ruling:

  • Congress members and their staff still must switch to an exchange provided plan, and will continue to receive the employer contributions they received until now, like all other federal employees
  • what is ACA, OPM? What are premium subsidies? – Believer Aug 28 '13 at 20:06
  • @client9 Added abbreviation explanations, and replaced "premium subsidies" with the more accurate "employer contributions towards their health insurance premiums". – user5582 Aug 28 '13 at 20:09

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