Starting next year lawmakers and the majority of Hill staffers are slated to move off of the normal federal health care plan and onto new insurance exchanges.
Starting next year, lawmakers and the majority of Hill staffers are slated to move off of the normal federal health care plan and onto new insurance exchanges being set up under the health care law. But now some lawmakers are getting cold feet and are looking for ways to exempt low-paid Hill staffers from the exchanges.
"You know I could probably support it because I'm looking out for my staff," says Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA). "I know how hard they work."
He adds that he's not opposed to going on an insurance exchange, but argues the program was never intended to supplement existing health insurance programs, like the one provided by the government.
"The exchanges were set up for people who don't get quality, affordable health insurance," Moran told WAMU 88.5 News off the House floor.
Critics say the idea of exempting lawmakers and Hill employees from the exchanges that will soon service millions of Americans reeks of hypocrisy. Many Republicans are vowing to do all they can to stop this movement.
"It's irreconcilable with the will of the American people. The American people truly are desperate for leadership by example. This is the antithesis of this," argues Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA).
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to tamp down the debate that was started by a Politico story this week. His office denies there was ever a discussion of exempting lawmakers or their staffs from the exchanges.