- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sen. David Vitter launched an investigation Wednesday into how Congress was “exempted” from Obamacare, saying he could not fathom why thousands of employees on Capitol Hill were allowed to enroll in a D.C. exchange set aside for small businesses.

The Louisiana Republicans has made it one of his top priorities to highlight how Washington’s lawmakers are treated under the Affordable Care Act, which requires members and certain staff to enter the health exchanges if they get insurance through their jobs.

Mr. Vitter objected when the Obama administration said Capitol Hill denizens could continue to collect an employer subsidy that pays for up to 75 percent of their premiums, noting regular Americans must rely on more limited, income-based tax credits.

His latest line of attack focuses on how both chambers of Congress were able to designate themselves as eligible for the D.C. exchange for small employers, or “SHOP.”

“Allowing Congress — which employs nearly 16,000 individuals — to determine itself as a ‘small business’ doesn’t pass the common sense test,” he said in a written statement. “We need to know exactly how and why this was allowed to happen, so we can fix this injustice and eliminate Washington’s Obamacare Exemption.”

The senator has requested documents that reveal how financial clerks at Congress and the D.C. exchange justified the arrangement.

His efforts parallel a legal challenge from Judicial Watch, which sued the D.C. exchange for allowing Congress to use its exchange.

In legal filings, the exchange has said city rules were trumped by federal regulations from the Office of Personnel Management.

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