Vitter to Reid: ‘Come clean’ on exemptions

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) challenged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to publically explain why he has exempted some of his leadership staff from enrolling in the ObamaCare health insurance exchange.

“I think it’s incumbent on the distinguished majority leader to come clean,” Vitter said on the Senate floor Tuesday.

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Reports came out last week 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. He was the only member of leadership to announce such a move.

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. Vitter has criticized this, calling it the “Washington Exemption.” He has introduced legislation to prevent the exemption but hasn't gotten a vote on the measure.

Vitter said he wrote Reid a letter asking him to publicly answer four questions, including if the staffers Reid has exempted helped him pass ObamaCare.

Vitter said that in the letter, he asked Reid to join him on the floor Tuesday afternoon, but Reid didn't show.