Carper: Letter misleading, inaccurate

November 4, 2013

I am writing to set the record straight in response to an Oct. 22 letter to the editor titled, “Shame on Delaware’s senators, congressman,” by Bill Krause. Unfortunately, the information in the letter is both misleading and  factually inaccurate. The Affordable Care Act actually requires all members of Congress and their staff to enroll in and purchase health insurance through the new exchanges or marketplace by January 2014.

As of January 1, 2014, members of Congress and our staff can no longer receive health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program as we have for decades. I am a proud supporter and author of a number of provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  As we debated this bill in the Senate, I chose to support an amendment offered by my colleague Sen. Grassley’s (R-IA) that required members of Congress to participate in the health insurance exchanges once they in operation. I supported that measure - and continue to support it today - because I believe that our elected leaders have a responsibility to lead by our example.  That includes joining millions of Americans and obtaining our health insurance coverage through the health insurance marketplace beginning January 1.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government, our employer, will continue to cover a portion of the cost of our insurance premiums just as it has for federal employees for decades and just like most large employers do for their employees in Delaware and all across this nation. Simply put, there are no special loopholes or exemptions for me, my colleagues in Congress, or for members of our staffs. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.  It is already making a positive impact by ensuring access to high-quality, affordable health care for thousands of Delawareans and millions of Americans. Let’s not lose sight of these important facts.

Sen. Tom Carper

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