Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 27, 2015

Grassley Committee Staff Won’t Follow Intent Of Grassley Obamacare Rule

Sen. Chuck Grassley authored the provision forcing congressional staff onto Obamacare exchanges. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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.”

When CQ Roll Call asked Grassley about the other leaders who opted to place all of their staff on the exchange, Grassley responded: “I’m following the law based on what the Secretary of the Senate said.”

Other leaders have also used that option, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., whose staff helped write the exemption.

As Roll Call first reported earlier this month, senators have until Thursday to get their final staff designation decisions approved by the Senate Disbursing Office.

  • gwbnyc

    Many thanks from all the little people, running dog elitist swine.

  • OldmanRick

    Remember these elitists who profit off the taxpayers’ dime during the midterms. Replace as many as possible, especially the totalitarian loving dims..

  • Paul Burke

    The laugh will be when all the staffers rave about it and how cheap it is and the money they are saving….hoisted by their own petard again – the republicans who gave us that phrase – hilarious.

    • Winghunter

      Obama Officials In 2010: 93 Million Americans Will Be Unable To Keep Their Health Plans Under Obamacare (Forbes)
      Look it up, Useful Idiot

      • Paul Burke

        You mean their crappy plans – because they didn’t read the fine print? Like I told your Tom Cruise fanboy friend – you probably won’t even check the ACA out and spite yourself. Hey a bucks a buck. choice is yours…and a word to the wise is sufficient. Even the Mythical leader of the tin foiled hats the Russian Ayn Rand collected social security. Facts are stubborn things.

    • The Vet Is Jack Reacher

      The laugh now is trolls that think arguments to the future is the best argument going.

      Argument To The Future:

      arguing that evidence will someday be discovered which will (then)
      support your point.

      So, go away then troll. Come back when your argument proves true. Now why do I doubt that will happen, hmmmm. Is it because trolls can’t ever argue honestly? Why yes, trolls can’t argue honestly. Lying, fallacious arguments, and internet laughter is all they got.

      • Paul Burke

        Wow I must have struck a nerve here with this Tom Cruise fan. Truth hurts huh Amigo – and by the way its called vision. And in this case you don’t have to be a soothsayer to see the eventual outcome as plain as the lines on the road. Every now and then it pays to look past your own nose – something the republicans are incapable of doing

        • The Vet Is Jack Reacher

          Why yes, troll, my pointing out your fallacious taunting ways is approving of your fallacious taunting ways and indeed is an invitation for you to continue your fallacious taunting ways. Oh wait, no, its not. Only fallacious taunting trolls see it that way.

          Troll on proudly, troll. It is all you got.

          • Paul Burke

            Attacking the messenger is an age old trick but I stand by my original statement: when the republican staffers see how great and affordable the new health care laws are in protecting their health and guaranteeing coverage when they get sick – well the republicans are going to have a lot of egg on their face. The truth will out, and name calling me won’t change that fact ever. Have you all noticed how shrill the republicans have become? Its embarrassing. Don’t forget to vote tomorrow for progress, clean energy jobs and practical, pragmatic governing for the people, of the people and by the people (hint: people are not corporations)

          • The Vet Is Jack Reacher

            Don’t care, troll. Your opinion meant jack squat three days ago. It means even less today.

          • Paul Burke

            Well you know what they say, “a word to the wise…is sufficient”. Which I guess by your own admission leaves you out. In addition the web is peppered full of people claiming they have saved hundreds a month using the Affordable Care Act – but you are so angry you’ll probably refuse to even try it and purposefully spite yourself…I guess that other old adage is true – “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. I feel sorry for your family if you have one – although you strike me as the angry loner.

          • The Vet Is Jack Reacher

            Don’t care about your magical mystical ESP powers that only work over the internet, troll. Yes troll, only you have the magical ESP powers to see the emotional state of others over the internet, only you. You is magic.

            Take your troll games somewhere else.

          • Paul Burke

            Well thank you for saying I’m magical…but its only common sense to seek to save money regardless of which political team passed the law. In fact its moronic not to try and save money because your favorite political team fought against the law. But your tin foil hat is on so tight its covering your eyes, and ears. Anyone unfortunate enough to read through the vitriol of hatred posted by Jack Reacher can go out to and do their own research. In fact the time he wasted with his sophomoric postings might have been better served going to and seeing what his options are. Now don’t blame me because people I personally know – shock horror of horrors small business owners as well – have actually (gods honest truth) used the web site to obtain less expensive policies with better coverage. A word to the wise is sufficient right Jack? Hope it works out for him as well and I’m not kidding about that good luck to him Although I’m sure repeated failure at bullying people will eventually undue him for good much like his favorite political team.

          • The Vet Is Jack Reacher

            Conversation is over, troll. What part of not playing your troll games escapes you?

          • Paul Burke

            See everybody bullies are all the same – all you have to do is stand up to them and they fold. This is yet another example for those of you out there who fight for a better world, those of you caring about the disabled, the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the infirmed our seniors, and our veterans. The selfish will always be the bullies but we can and will make this a better world, more equitable, fair, peaceful, healthy, and more tolerant of differences.

  • Winghunter

    How many times will these idiots let the Socialists beat them!?

    • Paul Burke

      Define socialist

  • typhoon2002

    Another Republican who says one thing and does another. Obviously Grassley believes he and his staff are too good for Obamacare. Laws passed by Congress are only for the little people. Congress and their staff are too important to be under the same rule.

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