Senator Chuck Grassley issued the comment below following a New York Times story today that a provision in the 2010 health care law is being distorted in fall campaign ads.
"Remember, it was Republicans who made this law apply to Congress, not the Democrats who wrote the law. The Democrats were perfectly fine with applying Obamacare to the entire economy but leaving themselves out. Despite passage of my amendment, Democrats still carved out exemptions for high-level staff, despite Republican efforts to undo the carve-outs, and Democrats refused to make Obamacare apply to the White House itself."
The provision in question stemmed from an amendment Grassley authored and for which he won Finance Committee approval in September 2009. The Grassley amendment said that members of Congress and their staff must get their health insurance coverage from the exchanges that would be established in the health care overhaul. This congressional coverage initiative built on many years of work by Senator Grassley to have Congress live under the laws it passes for the rest of the country. In 1995, legislation authored by Grassley to apply 12 civil rights, labor and employment laws to Congress for the first time.
The story in today's New York Times reports that TV commercials being run on behalf of Democratic candidates for Congress assert that members of Congress who voted to repeal the 2010 health care law have voted to give themselves taxpayer-funded health care for life." Senator Grassley said his provision, even in the final form it took in the law that was enacted makes no changes to the employer contribution to federal employee health care coverage and no changes to federal retiree health care.
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