BREAKING: Senate Republicans Exempt Themselves From Trumpcare, Get Special Benefits

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 11:  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (2nd L) speaks as (L-R) Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), and Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) listen during a news briefing after the weekly Senate Republican Policy Luncheon July 11, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Sen. McConnell announced that Senate will delay its recess to the third week of August.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Senate Republicans are exempting themselves out of a revised Senate health care bill that lets insurers offer plans without essential health benefits like maternity care or mental health services.

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The exemption will mandate that Congress has access to these benefits.

Per Vox:

Insurers can offer plans without these benefits — unless they’re selling coverage to members of Congress and their staff, who are required to buy coverage on the health law marketplaces. The exemption says this part of the law still applies to any plans sold to Congress.

The language of this exemption is very similar to the exemption in the House repeal bill. It appears on page 167 of the bill, in this paragraph (bolding my own):

(d) NON-APPLICABLE PROVISIONS DESCRIBED. — The provisions described in this subsection are the following:

(1) Subsection (d) of section 1302 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 6 18022); except for the purposes of applying section 1302(b) to sections 1252, 1301(a)(2), 1312(d)(3)(D), 1331, 1333, and 1334 of such Act, subsection (b) of such section 1302; and subsection (c)(1)(B) of such section 1302.

To decode that language a little bit: The bolded text says that section 1302(b) will still apply to certain plans. Section 1302(b) is the part of the Affordable Care Act that spells out what is included in the essential health benefits.

The section then goes on to spell out which plans get to keep essential health benefits. It includes the plans specified in 1312(d)(3)(D) of the Affordable Care Act — the section that covers the health plans of members of Congress and their benefits.

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