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Friday, October 25, 2013

Democrats expected to exempt staff from Obamacare -- By Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner

Photo - Sen. Patty Murray, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, is expected to put her staff into Obamacare. AP PhotoAs the Friday deadline approaches for Senate and House committees to determine if staffers will be swept into Obamacare like personal office aides of members, sources tell Secrets that several Democratic staffs will likely be kept out of the troubled health care system.

Such a move to shield thousands of aides would be a blow to efforts to have all of Capitol Hill enrolled into the system the president and congressional Democrats created.

Said a top Senate GOP staffer: “If Obamacare is so awesome, why the hell aren't Democratic committee chairmen giving their staff the gift of losing the insurance they have and be dumped into Obamacare like the rest of us?”

Under the rules governing Obamacare, the personal office staffs of House and Senate members have to shift from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to Obamacare. They will continue receiving their federal contribution so that out of pocket expenses won't surge, though there is an effort to take that away.

Staffs of Hill leadership members and committees, however, can be kept out of the health insurance exchange, and Friday is the deadline for committee chairs and ranking members to decide if their committee aides will be put into Obamacare.

According to several sources, most or all GOP committee staffers in the Senate are expected to be shifted over to Obamacare. Many Democratic staffs, however, are not expected to be moved into Obamacare, though the final decision will be made Friday.

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