Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2015

OPM Details Obamacare Fix for Congress, Staff

It’s official: Members of Congress and congressional staff will keep their health care subsidies under Obamacare, and some staffers won’t have to join the new health exchanges at all.

The Office of Personnel Management issued formal guidance on how lawmakers and staffers can use their federal employee benefits to help pay for health care on the new health exchanges.

“These proposed regulations implement the administrative aspects of switching Members of Congress and congressional staff to their new insurance plans – the same plans available to millions of Americans through the new Exchanges,” OPM Director of Planning and Policy Jon Foley said in a statement.

But OPM separately noted that, unlike other Americans, Members of Congress and staff will continue to keep their employee subsidies under the plan, claiming a legal loophole written into the law itself. OPM noted that the provision requiring members of Congress and their staff to join the exchanges included the phrase “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” That phrase, per OPM, gives the government license to ignore the other provision of the of the Affordable Care Act “that prohibits an employer from providing a qualified health plan through an Exchange as a benefit under its cafeteria plan.”

In turn, lawmakers and staff will not be eligible for premium tax credits under the plans, and OPM noted that the rule merely maintains benefits lawmakers and staff already have. “The amount of the employer contribution toward their Exchange premiums is no more than would otherwise be made toward coverage under the [Federal Employee Health Benefits] Program,” OPM wrote.

Interestingly, the proposed rule leaves it to individual offices on Capitol Hill to define which employees are deemed to fall under the regulations because the term “official office” of a Member of Congress doesn’t have an existing statutory definition.

As this blog first reported last week, lawmakers and the White House worked out a fix fairly quickly after the issue came up for debate at a Senate Democratic Conference meeting with President Barack Obama.

The original news generated a mixed response. While senators had left for August recess by the time word of the deal circulated, the House was still in town for one more day.

Obama’s comments on the subject at the closed-door meeting were first reported by Politico.

Comments (43)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. GNH

    Aug. 7, 2013
    2:35 p.m.

    This will just add more fodder to the repeal Obamacare fire. America does not need more division in this country. Very dangerous stuff.

    • scientist5

      Aug. 8, 2013
      1:11 p.m.

      I’d bet the elitist Congress will thumb their noses and go right along with the plan. What the hell? It is 14 months until they get re-elected. The incumbents will be returned so they can take continue to take care of the 50+% who always vote to continue government handouts. Yes, those that hardworking Americans have to pay for. AND, yes, Congress members and their over paid aides will get their healthcare outside of ObamaCare, along with dozens of other freebies they receive. Wanta bet?

      • GNH

        Aug. 8, 2013
        5:13 p.m.

        Would lose if I did.

  2. giatny

    Aug. 7, 2013
    4:38 p.m.

    How stupid do they think we are??? Congress will be able to maintain the
    75% subsidy they now get while the 20 million others losing their employer insurance being thrown into the exchanges will have to abide by the income-capped subsidies. In other words, those earning over $92000 will get zero
    but Congressional high earners will continue to get a 75% subsidy. The entire purpose of the amendment was to insure that Congress be subjected to same
    terms as everyone else. Clearly the “notwithstanding” clause was added by
    the scum Harry Reid. Even so, the interpretation of the clause is outrageous.
    Since the GOP colluded on this travesty, they have little standing in opposing
    ACA. There is NO integrity in the bloody lot of them.

    • scientist5

      Aug. 8, 2013
      1:02 p.m.

      How stupid do they think we are? Damned stupid!

  3. scientist5

    Aug. 8, 2013
    1 p.m.

    Well, what’s new? Obama and his groupies have already developed an elitist class. Now, Congress is following through Communist-like. First, it was Obama’s Czars, now it is the privileged class – Congress and their aides. We may be already seeing the beginnings of a KGB. We see our courts falling into line. What more evidence does the US citizen need?
    Too bad a lot of Libs haven’t taken the opportunity to talk to citizens of the former USSR. I have! The average Kazakh citizen who knew Communism first hand told me about the torture, the Gulags, and hundreds of other abuses leveled on the average citizen. One example – a woman who interpreted for me told me how her father (a school teacher) was sent to a Gulag for 5 years because he complained about the poor winter clothing worn by some of his students. He came back crippled in mind and body.
    HELLO – AMERICA! Wake up!

  4. Anonymous

    June 27, 2015
    4:31 a.m.

    My brother suggested I would possibly like this website. He used to be entirely right. This publish actually made my day. You can not believe just how so much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

  5. Anonymous

    July 2, 2015
    11:26 a.m.

    Well I definitely liked studying it. This tip procured by you is very useful for correct planning.

  6. Anonymous

    July 6, 2015
    6:02 p.m.

    I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts in this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website. Studying this info So i am glad to exhibit that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I such a lot no doubt will make sure to don¦t disregard this web site and give it a glance regularly.

  7. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    5:29 p.m.

    Only a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great style and design. “Better by far you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad.” by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

  8. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    9:34 a.m.

    Loving the info on this internet site, you have done great job on the blog posts.

  9. Anonymous

    July 11, 2015
    8:33 a.m.

    Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  10. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    2:04 p.m.

    I’m impressed, I must say. Really not often do I encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you will have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is excellent; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very glad that I stumbled throughout this in my search for one thing regarding this.

  11. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    3:16 p.m.

    I’ve been surfing online greater than 3 hours nowadays, but I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the net will probably be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  12. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    6:58 p.m.

    I am extremely inspired together with your writing abilities and also with the format to your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it your self? Either way stay up the nice high quality writing, it is rare to peer a great weblog like this one today..

  13. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    8:13 p.m.

    magnificent points altogether, you simply gained a brand new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?

  14. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    11:57 p.m.

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  15. Anonymous

    July 14, 2015
    2:28 a.m.

    I truly enjoy looking through on this internet site, it holds excellent posts.

  16. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    6:35 a.m.

    fantastic post.Never knew this, appreciate it for letting me know.

  17. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    8:26 a.m.

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  18. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    1:36 p.m.

    Thanks – Enjoyed this article, is there any way I can receive an email when you publish a new post?

  19. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    8:12 p.m.

    An interesting dialogue is price comment. I feel that it is best to write more on this topic, it may not be a taboo topic however usually individuals are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  20. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    6:09 a.m.

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you really know what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Please also visit my site =). We could have a link exchange agreement between us!

  21. Google

    July 21, 2015
    12:17 p.m.

    Although sites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they are truly worth a go by, so possess a look.

  22. pdr training

    July 23, 2015
    5:23 a.m.

    Every the moment inside a even though we decide on blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we pick out

  23. paintless dent repair training

    July 23, 2015
    6:38 p.m.

    just beneath, are a lot of absolutely not related web sites to ours, on the other hand, they are surely worth going over

  24. debt collection agency

    July 24, 2015
    7:46 a.m.

    usually posts some really interesting stuff like this. If you are new to this site

  25. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    8:36 a.m.

    Hello.This post was extremely remarkable, especially since I was looking for thoughts on this topic last Thursday.

  26. hormones

    July 24, 2015
    5:11 p.m.

    that may be the end of this write-up. Right here you will discover some web sites that we consider you will enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over

  27. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    8:09 p.m.

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

  28. con

    July 24, 2015
    8:14 p.m.

    here are some hyperlinks to sites that we link to because we assume they’re worth visiting

  29. steps to make a guy fall in love with you

    July 25, 2015
    3:34 a.m.

    below you will uncover the link to some web pages that we assume you should visit

  30. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    8:03 a.m.

    You are my inspiration , I possess few web logs and occasionally run out from to brand.

  31. international Cheap calls

    July 25, 2015
    2 p.m.

    the time to study or go to the content or web pages we have linked to below the

  32. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    8:06 p.m.

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I’m quite certain I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  33. voip calling card

    July 25, 2015
    10 p.m.

    very few internet sites that occur to become in depth below, from our point of view are undoubtedly properly really worth checking out

  34. make money from home

    July 26, 2015
    8:56 a.m.

    usually posts some pretty fascinating stuff like this. If you are new to this site

  35. Seo

    July 26, 2015
    7:37 p.m.

    the time to study or take a look at the material or internet sites we have linked to below the

  36. Sofa

    July 28, 2015
    9:58 a.m.

    always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I appreciate but do not get lots of link really like from

  37. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    1:56 p.m.

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you’ve put in writing this site. I’m hoping the same high-grade site post from you in the upcoming also. Actually your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a great example of it.

  38. Netflix Nederland

    July 29, 2015
    1:58 a.m.

    although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they’re essentially worth a go by, so have a look

  39. veneered floating shelf

    July 29, 2015
    11:06 p.m.

    Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nevertheless definitely worth taking a search, whoa did one particular understand about Mid East has got a lot more problerms too

  40. פורץ מנעולים בגבעתיים

    3:13 a.m.

    The data mentioned in the report are a number of the best obtainable

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...