Harry Reid’s explanation for why not all of his staff is going on ‘Obamacare’

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By Glenn Kessler,

from The Washington Post,

All I did was follow the law. The law says that if you have committee staff, leadership staff, they stay where they are. If you have other staff, which is most everyone, they go to the exchanges. I followed the Affordable Care Act. It is the law.

– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), radio interview, Dec. 5, 2013

If there is anything that illustrates the complexity of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, it’s the tiny section concerning members of Congress and their staff. The Fact Checker has spent some time digging into this issue, and it’s headache-inducing.

Reid’s explanation is certainly newsworthy.

… lawmakers are given the option to designate which staffs will be covered by exchanges. If the lawmaker chooses to do nothing, then the administrators will make the determination as to which staff members are personal and thus should go on the exchange.

Pelosi, Boehner and McConnell looked at this guidance and decided that all of their staff, personal and leadership, should go on the exchanges, aides said. News reports indicate a number of other top Democrat leaders, such as Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), also placed all of their staff on the exchanges.

The bottom line is this: Reid is essentially claiming he had no choice. He may have had a basis for this decision. But, judging from the way that many of his colleagues have handled this, he did have a choice, potential lawsuit or not.

As for Pinocchios, we find ourselves wavering between two and three, though we do not give 1/2 Pinocchios. This was a difficult judgment to make. But it tips ever so slightly toward Three.

Three Pinocchios

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