Speed Reads

repeal and replace, sort of

Lawmakers cling to their ObamaCare benefits even as they propose repealing them for everyone else

The fine print of a new Republican health-care amendment apparently indicates that members of Congress want to keep Affordable Care Act provisions for themselves while repealing them for the rest of the country, Vox reports. Introduced Tuesday night, the amendment would allow states to waive the ObamaCare ban on charging people with pre-existing conditions higher premiums or the requirement to cover essential health benefits like maternity care, mental health services, or emergency room visits — except it would not apply to members of Congress or their staffs.

"A spokesperson for Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) who authored this amendment confirmed this was the case," Vox writes. "Members of Congress and their staff would get the guarantee of keeping these ObamaCare regulations."

In other words:

If Congressional aides lived in a state that decided to waive these protections, the aides who were sick could be vulnerable to higher premiums than the aides that are healthy. Their benefits package could get skimpier as ObamaCare's essential health benefits requirement may no longer apply either.

This apparently does not sound appealing because the Republican amendment includes the members of Congress and their staff as a protected group who cannot be affected by this amendment. [Vox]

Read more about the potential loophole for lawmakers at Vox.