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Health plans

Senator Questions ACA Exemption for Congress

By | Benefits | 14 Comments

The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has sent a letter to the Office of Personnel Management acting director seeking more for information on the OPM rule that grants an Affordable Care Act exemption to Congress and its staff.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is asking for more information on a 2013 rule that enables members of Congress and their staff to buy health insurance on the Small Business Health Options Plan (SHOP) exchange.
“The SHOP exchange is intended for employers with less than 50 employees, yet Congress employs more than 16,000 people,” Johnson wrote in his letter. “Without this classification, members of Congress and their staff would be required to purchase health insurance on the individual exchange, where no employer contributions are permitted,” he added.
Johnson filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration in 2014 challenging the rule, contending that it “exempt[s] members of Congress and their staff from the full effects of the Affordable Care Act.” The lawsuit was dismissed.
In 2016, Johnson submitted questions for the record requesting information about the development of the OPM rule. 
“I have yet to receive satisfactory responses from OPM,” he said in his letter.
In his latest attempt for information on the rule, Johnson is asking Acting Director Kathleen McGettigan to submit all material related to the congressional exemption and to preserve all documents related to the rule.