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Harkin Statement on Health Insurance Coverage for Members of Congress and Their Staffs

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today regarding health insurance coverage for Members of Congress and their staffs. As Chairman of the HELP Committee, Harkin played a pivotal role in the passage of the health reform bill.

“The health care exchanges are a central part of the Affordable Care Act’s historic coverage expansion, providing a ‘one stop shop’ for health insurance and offering access to affordable, quality, and comprehensive coverage to individuals and small businesses currently locked out of the market. For the first time, individuals and small businesses will have the same purchasing power and choice that only big companies enjoyed before.

“As I have said in the past, requiring Members of Congress and their staffs to obtain insurance through the new health care marketplaces will still provide an array of choices in a way that in many areas has proven to lower costs for consumers. I believe it is appropriate that Members and Congressional staff are not eligible to receive subsidies but are able, like other employees around the country, to continue to receive their employer contribution—and I applaud the Administration for resolving this issue in a timely manner.”