House Republicans will vote on an amendment to eliminate the exemption for Congress and their staff members from changes to Obamacare.
The amendment, H.R. 2192, would eliminate an exemption for changes to Obamacare regulations that impact health insurance premiums and coverage. The proposed amendment would allow states to obtain waivers to repeal Obamacare regulations such as essential health benefits and community ratings. Congresswoman Martha McSally (R-AZ) sponsored H.R. 2192, which has 83 cosponsors—all of them Republican.
House Republicans look to attach the amendment to the American Health Care Act as part of their Obamacare repeal package. Obamacare required that Congressmen and their staff members purchase health insurance on the individual market. Congress received widespread criticism for exempting themselves from potential changes to Obamacare regulations that could raise costs and reduce coverage for Americans on the individual market.
Representative Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) said that lawmakers added the exemption to comply with Senate rules, but admitted that the measure was politically problematic. He said, “That’ll be fixed. That was written in to comply with some Senate rules to make sure it’s just a budget vote.”
MacArthur added, “Congress, my staff, we’re on the Affordable Care Act exchange. We need to live by the same rules as everyone else, period. And I will make sure that is fixed before a vote.”