White House floats health care fix for Congress

RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press
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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has tossed back in the lap of Congress a prickly political question involving health insurance for staffers and lawmakers themselves.

Proposed regulations issued Wednesday say lawmakers’ offices should individually decide whether staffers are subject to a health law provision that would require them to switch their insurance from the federal plan to new coverage coming next year under President Barack Obama’s overhaul.

The rules do clarify that the government will continue to pay its standard share of premiums, resolving one of the biggest unknowns about the health law provision, which was authored by Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

The proposal comes with the halls of Congress empty for summer recess.

It may not be the final fix, since some issues don’t appear to have been resolved.

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