Cruz blasts Reid for O-Care exemptions

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) chided Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for announcing that he will exempt some of his staff from enrolling in ObamaCare.

“Sen. Reid's decision to exempt his staff from ObamaCare exchanges is the clearest example yet of ObamaCare's failures and Washington hypocrisy,” Cruz said. “His staff worked to pass it and continue to promote it, now they don't want to be part of it because it's a disaster.”

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Reports came out Wednesday that Reid would allow his leadership staff to remain on the federal healthcare plan instead of forcing them onto the exchanges, as required for other congressional staffers.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, requires members of Congress and their staff to enter the healthcare exchange, but allows lawmakers to exempt committee and leadership staff.

Earlier this year, the Office of Personnel Management issued a ruling that would allow lawmakers and their staff to continue to receive federal healthcare subsidies when they moved to the exchanges.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has criticized the ruling, saying it’s a “Washington exemption” but most employers contribute to employee health insurance costs. He has tried to get a vote on his bill, the No Washington Exemption Act, several times, but Democrats haven’t allowed it to come to the floor.

Cruz has called for a full repeal of the law and even encouraged the government shutdown in October by trying to use reopening the government as leverage to stop the healthcare law.

“The only fair path forward is to repeal ObamaCare, in its in entirety, for everyone,” Cruz said. 

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