National Government

Health care fix spares insurance hike for Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress and their aides won't have to pay thousands more for their health care under a new proposal from the Obama administration.

Taxpayers have funded about 75 percent of insurance premiums for federal employees. A provision in President Barack Obama's health care law forces lawmakers and congressional staff to get insurance through new health care exchanges instead.

But there was no clear mechanism for the government to contribute to those premiums. That spooked employees who would have to pick up the cost. Lawmakers said it could force good employees to find other jobs.

The new regulations will let the government pay into the premiums through the exchanges. Congressional employees won't be eligible for tax credits that low-income Americans can get to purchase insurance through the exchanges.

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