Survey: Congressional Aides Agonize Over Obamacare

79 percent of offices fear they will lose staff due to law


Complying with Obamacare is the number one worry among staffers on Capitol Hill, according to a new survey.

Eighty-seven percent of senior staff members said their office is "worried about the cost of health insurance," according to the poll released by the Congressional Management Foundation on Monday.

The survey found that 91 percent are "worried about possible changes in health benefits," and 82 percent said their staff was concerned about the "ability to access local health care providers."  Only 35 percent said their office has a "good understanding of changes" under Obamacare.

The survey also included anonymous quotes from congressional staffers complaining about the Affordable Care Act:

"I found out in September that I have breast cancer. I'm losing my health care coverage in the middle of my radiation treatment. Getting insured through the DC exchange is not helpful—my choices are very limited and costs are high. As a result, I've gone on my husband's plan. My staff don't necessarily have that option."

"The elimination of staff's traditional health care has been a complete disaster. If you wanted a legislative branch run by K Street lobbyists and 25 year-old staffers, Mission Accomplished."

"This is a horrible situation. We don't have money for staff travel to the district, we don't have money for tele-town halls. Healthcare is a mess and our District Office employees are not being allowed to keep their local plan. Everyone is unhappy. This is a very hard place in which to work."

Congressional aides were reportedly "shocked" by the high prices under Obamacare  when the majority of Hill offices were forced to comply with the law. Most aides had to give up their generous Federal Employees Health Benefits and enroll in the D.C. health exchange.

The survey found that 79 percent of offices believe they will lose staffers due to changes in their health care.

The results were based on a survey of 163 chiefs of staff, state directors, and district directors between Nov. 18 and Dec. 6.

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