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HomelearningcenterCongressional Members and health care

Congressional Members and health care

Question: Do Members of Congress receive free health care?

Answer: No. 

Members of Congress participate in the same health insurance system that all federal employees use.  It consists of several private insurance companies competing to be federal employees’ insurance provider. Members of Congress pay part of the premium each month, which varies based on which plan is chosen.

Furthermore, the President's new health care law, that is commonly referred to as "Obamacare", actually states, “Not with standing any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are created under this Act or offered through an Exchange established under the Act." 

Therefore, the only insurance the federal government will make available to Members of Congress and their personal office staff will be through a plan created by the law or on the Exchange. 

However, there has been some controversy surrounding this provision because Congressional staff who work for Committees or Leadership (which at the time the law was written was staff for Democrat Leaders like Speaker Nancy Pelosi) are exempt, as are White House staffers.