Grassley authored the provision forcing congressional staff onto Obamacare exchanges. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, said Wednesday that only his personal office employees will enter the federal health care exchange established by the Affordable Care Act — his committee staff will not.
Grassley has the authority under Obamacare to keep his committee personnel in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. But the Iowa Republican also authored the original provision to require members and staff to enter the exchange, and he intended for all staff to be subject to the exchanges.
In the drafting process, Democrats exempted leadership and committee staffs. But Grassley had the option to place all of his employees, regardless of their position, on the exchange.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., Senate Democratic Conference Secretary and Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., chose to require that all of their staffers, including those in leadership and on committees, enter the exchange.
“We’re following the law. In order to make sure I’m following the law, I consulted the Secretary of the Senate. So as a result of the consulting of the Secretary of the Senate, my personal office will be under the exchange, my committee staff will be as they are,” Grassley said. “Now that’s not the way I intended it when I wrote it and got it out of Finance. It was my amendment, you know. So you understand that my intention was that everybody go to the exchange, but it was screwed up when Reid made the exceptions. So that’s the law and so we’re following the law.” Full story