COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The fistfight over "ObamaCare" has Democrats and Republicans slinging mud on Friday. Rep. Doug Lamborn accused Democrats of an attempt to exempt Congress and Capitol Hill aides from the Affordable Care Act.
Reports surfaced that congressional leaders were involved in discussions behind closed doors in Washington to get Capitol Hill out of mandated insurance exchanges under Obamacare. Lamborn believes Democrats have a case of buyer's remorse.
"If Congress imposes rules on the rest of the country, they should live under the same laws," said Lamborn. "Democrats should have to live under this just like everyone else and if they don't like what's happening with Obamacare, let's repeal the whole thing so no one has to live under it."
Colorado Democrats flat out deny that there is any substance to the accusations.
"Allegations that have been made by Washington Republicans that Democrats are trying to exempt members of their staff from the Affordable Care Act are simply false," said Danielle Radovich Piper. She is chief of staff of Colorado's seventh congressional district Rep. Ed Perlmutter.
The heart of the issue is muddled in legislative writing in the Affordable Health Care Act. It's easiest to understand by thinking of the federal government as a corporation. A corporation pays a percentage of employee's health care costs. For example, the company would pay 75 percent of an employee's monthly health care premium. The employee would pay 25 percent.
The issue in Washington is that congressional staffers and Congress would have to pay 100 percent of the premium come January.
Radovich Piper said the only part of these accusations that have validity is that leaders are concerned about congressional staff. She said for low-paying aide positions, picking up the entire tab for their health care isn't feasible and it could force people to find new jobs. She says that isn't what making health care affordable is all about.
The office of personnel management determines federal employees benefits. It will decide how this clause in the Affordable Care Act will be interpreted.