Senate GOP proposals would force Obama into health law exchanges

Republican amendments to the Senate's budget proposal would require President Obama and Vice President Biden to get their medical care through the new exchanges created by Obama's signature healthcare law.

Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Mnuchin meets with Senate GOP to shore up ranks on Russia sanctions vote MORE (R-Maine) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteFive possible successors to Mattis Mattis resigns, says views aren't in line with Trump's Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms MORE (R-N.H.) both offered amendments to move the president and vice president into the healthcare law's exchanges.

After the Affordable Care Act passed, the White House said Obama would enroll in an exchange once the time came in 2014. Collins and Ayotte's amendments would require the president, the vice president and the Cabinet to put their premiums where their politics are.

ADVERTISEMENT
Lawmakers and most of their staff members already have to purchase coverage through an exchange, thanks to a provision Sen. Charles GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government Five things to watch during Barr’s confirmation hearing McConnell rebukes Steve King over white nationalist comments MORE (R-Iowa) added to the healthcare law.

But the White House and its staff aren't covered by that provision. Some congressional leadership staffers also aren't affected, and can remain in the healthcare exchange for federal employees.

All of the budget amendments are messaging documents — as is the budget itself. And there are a slew of proposals to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act.

Dozens of amendments have already been filed, including proposals to repeal the healthcare law and some key provisions, including the individual mandate and some of its taxes.


More from The Hill
• Reid to bring gun bill to floor with expanded background checks
• Unions representing federal workers bemoan extended pay freeze
• McCain: Media leaks damaging Gang of 8 immigration talks


An amendment from Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsBudowsky: Warning to Senate Republicans The Hill's Morning Report — Negotiations crumble as shutdown enters day 17 Pompeo seen as top recruit for Kansas Senate seat MORE (R-Kan.) would prohibit the use of federal money to advertise the law's new benefits, cutting off a publicity campaign that will be essential to making sure people actually enroll in the new benefits available to them.

Other GOP amendments would delay the law's implementation and change its definition of a "part-time" employee.

There's one bipartisan proposal in the mix — amendments to repeal the healthcare law's medical device tax.

Because budgets do not become law, none of these proposals would take effect even if the House and Senate were to agree on the underlying budget.