And Congress wonders why herpes is more popular than they are.
Obamacare is, once again, turning Capitol Hill upside down.
Congressional offices this week have been forced into a frenzied, late-hour scramble to decide which of their staffers will be pushed onto the District of Columbia’s health insurance exchanges, and which will be able to keep their current health insurance plans.
Under rules created in the wake of Obamacare’s implementation, House and Senate personal office staffers — dubbed “official office” aides by the House’s administrative office — are supposed to get their health insurance through D.C.’s health insurance exchange. Committee and leadership staffers — labeled“official staff” — are allowed to keep their current health insurance plan, which is administered by the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan.
But like many things on Capitol Hill, there’s a wrinkle: members of the House and Senate can quietly allow their aides to stay off the exchange, and keep their current plan.
“It seems too cute,” said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) of the news. Denham is putting all his staff on the exchanges.
In what members of both parties said was a surprise, guidance on Tuesday from the House’s chief administrative officer said that lawmakers could privately designate personal office aides as not “official,” meaning they do not have to go on the exchange, and could keep their current plan. Similarly, House lawmakers can decide that their committee and leadership staffers need to go on D.C.’s exchanges.