Monday, December 2, 2013

Obama to sign up on health exchange?

By Ian Swanson 
White House press secretary Jay Carney sidestepped questions Monday about whether the president has signed up for health insurance under ObamaCare.
“I know that he will and has said that he will, the White House has said that he will, but I don't have an update,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Monday.

 Asked what the president was waiting for — and whether his attempt to enroll in the exchange would be open to members of the press — Carney laughed.
“I'll get back to you,” he said.
In 2010, White House spokesman Reid Cherlin pledged the president would sign up o the exchanges in response to an amendment offered by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) that would have required the president to purchase coverage.
“The president will participate in the exchange,” Cherlin told USA Today. “But let's be clear: The amendments being offered by Senate Republicans, including this one, are just a ploy to delay the bill.”  
Republican lawmakers have continued to press the administration to enroll in the exchanges following implementation of the law. 
In a heated exchange on Capitol Hill, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) repeatedly asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius why she had not purchased insurance on the exchanges.
Sebelius incorrectly said that it would be illegal for her to do so, because her healthcare was included in her compensation as a federal employee. Those with employer-provided insurance can purchase separate coverage through the exchanges, but are not eligible for tax credits to reduce the price of premiums. Sebelius, however, is prohibited from buying insurance because she is a Medicare enrollee.
Obama, who is younger, has no such restriction — although presidents and their immediate families are eligible for free treatment in military hospitals during and after their presidencies.
The administration separately touted increased visitors to and said technical fixes are making the site speedier and more accessible to visitors.