Report: Reid exempts staff from O-Care

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is the only congressional leader allowing his leadership staff to remain on the federal healthcare plan, according to CNN

The other top leaders — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — have all required their leadership teams to move over to the Washington, D.C., ObamaCare health exchange, according to the report. 

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Reid’s office told CNN it is merely following the law. 

Written into the healthcare reform law passed in 2010 is a provision that requires members and their congressional staff to join the newly created healthcare exchanges. The provision, however, allows committee and leadership staff to avoid the move. 

Earlier this year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) advised that members themselves are able to designate who is part of their official office staff, and other congressional leaders appear to have voluntarily classified their leadership staff under this designation. 

Republicans have previously alleged that Congress has carved out exemptions for itself while many in the general public are required to enter the healthcare exchanges. 

In a separate instance earlier this year, the OPM issued a ruling that would allow members and their staff to continue to receive federal healthcare subsidies when they moved to the exchanges.

The healthcare bill demanded that members and their staff enter the exchanges but was silent on whether the subsidies could continue.

Republicans, including Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), have blasted the ruling as an “exemption” and have written legislation that would cut off that funding.