WASHINGTON - Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is joining forces with a Wyoming GOP colleague to offer legislation that would require all members of Congress, the president, vice president and executive branch political appointees to purchase health insurance from the Affordable Care Act's exchanges without the taxpayer subsidies they now receive.
Congressional staffers would continue to get subsidies to purchase health insurance, but wouldn't be able to get any more financial aid then they would if not employed by Congress.
The bill, which Vitter and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., plan to introduce in September, is in response to a White House announcement that members of Congress and staff would be required to get insurance from exchanges, as written into the Affordable Care Act by a GOP senator, but would continue to get their current federal subsidies for health care. Top administration officials, and congressional leadership were not included in the requirement to purchase coverage from exchanges, but would be required to go that route under the Vitter-Enzi legislation.
"These recent maneuverings inside the beltway are precisely why the American people rightly despise Congress, 'Vitter said Tuesday. "Our legislation gets right to the core of the Office of Personnel and Management fix for Washington. Some of our colleagues may try some slick maneuver to avoid political backlash by allowing members to hide their exemption from the public, but our amendment is clear."
Vitter had said earlier that congressional members, both Democrat and Republican, had sought to pressure the White House to continue insurance subsidies.
Oct. 1, 2013: People sign up for health insurance information at a Covered California event which marks the opening of the state's Affordable Healthcare Act, commonly known as Obamacare.Reuters
The California health exchange has admitted it has been divulging contact information for tens of thousands of consumers to insurance agents without their permission or knowledge in an effort to hit deadlines for coverage.
Covered California said it was handing out consumer information as part of a pilot program to help people enroll ahead of a Dec.