Updated: 09/23/2013 7:04 PM
Created: 09/23/2013 5:42 PM WHEC.com
By: Brett Davidsen
Are members of Congress and their staffs getting special treatment when it comes to the new health care law? How would you like to pay for the health insurance of some congressional leaders and their staffs? The way things stand right now your tax dollars may soon pay for their medical coverage.
Right now, efforts are underway to stop it. It's part of the Affordable Care Act, which provides a subsidizing health care plan for lawmakers. The plan debuts next week with enrollment in health exchanges for the unemployed as well as members of Congress.
This is just the latest dispute over the controversial health care law. What many people don't know is that Congress was mandated to join the upcoming health exchanges, but after concerns about the cost of paying the premiums, the government announced taxpayers will subsidize 75 percent of the costs to House and Senate and their staffs.
Representative Louise Slaughter said, “Every employee subsidizes and people who are not employed is a subsidy from the government. Our staffs are not paid that lavishly and we don't get anything more than other people get."
Slaughter was actually taking part in a health care summit to talk about enrollment in the upcoming health exchanges. Defenders of the congressional subsidy say it's no more generous than what federal workers get now or standard insurance plans where employers help pay for coverage.
One lawmaker though says federal employees shouldn't be getting special treatment. Rand Paul, of Kentucky, is reportedly pushing for an amendment that will outlaw any special exemptions for government employees. Slaughter dismissed the idea.
But Paul says his plan would save taxpayers billions of dollars. Democrats say it's a smokescreen by republicans to erode support for the Affordable Care Act and add the taxpayer contribution to the exchanges will be no greater than what is now already offered under federal employee insurance.