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Friday, November 1, 2013

Congress divvies up staff healthcare plans under Obamacare exchanges -- By Alexis Levinson, The Daily Caller

Congress divvies up staff healthcare plans under Obamacare exchangesDemocrats and Republicans have sparred for the past few months over what should be done about staffers’ healthcare: should they go on the healthcare exchanges, as a provision in Obamacare seems to require, or should they stay on the healthcare plan they have now, where they receive an employer subsidy help defray the costs?

The deadline for members to make that decision arrived at 5 p.m. on Halloween. Members could either designate staff as “official,” in which case they would be required to go on the exchanges, or “unofficial,” in which case they could remain on the Federal Employee Healthcare Benefits Program.

A number of Republicans have all opted to put all of their staffers, committee staff and personal staff, on the exchanges. Kentucky Sen. John Barrasso told The Daily Caller on Tuesday that his whole staff was going on the exchanges. South Dakota Sen. John Thune, will do the same, his communications director AshLee Strong told The Daily Caller, putting “personal office aides, his leadership aides, and his Commerce Committee aides” all on the exchanges. Texas Sen. John Cornyn and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Politico they would do the same thing.

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