By Sahid Fawaz
How much do Senate Republicans like the new health care proposal?
So much so that they want to exempt themselves from it.
"Senate Republicans included a provision that exempts members of Congress and their staff from part of their latest health care plan.
This exemption could have the effect of ensuring that members of Congress have coverage for a wider array of benefits than other Americans who purchase their own coverage.
A Senate Republican aide confirmed that the exemption existed but was unable to comment as to the specific effect it would have. The aide said it was included to ensure that the bill hewed to the chamber’s strict reconciliation rules that limit the policies this health bill can include.
The exemption is similar to the one that existed in the House health bill. After Vox reported on its existence, the House voted to close the loophole — and the Senate aide expected their chamber to follow the same path.
The revised Senate health bill draft released Thursday lets health insurers offer plans that do not cover the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits, which requires insurers to include a wide array of benefits such as maternity care and mental health services.
Insurers can offer plans without these benefits — unless they’re selling coverage to members of Congress and their staff, who are required to buy coverage on the health law marketplaces. The exemption says this part of the law still applies to any plans sold to Congress."
For the rest of the story, check out the Vox.com article here.