Proposal would require federal lawmakers to buy health coverage on an exchange

Here's a "put your money where your mouth is" reform proposal. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has proposed an amendment to the health reform package that would force federal legislators to buy their health insurance coverage through the health exchanges included in the reform bill. This would require them to decline coverage from the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program.

Grassley told CQ Politics that he's proposing this requirement out of a long-held belief that Congress should be forced to participate in the same way as the rest of the country. His decision was also bolstered by feedback he got at town hall meetings in his home state of Iowa, the newspaper reports.

On the other hand, even if Grassley's proposal is enacted, members of Congress can still access gold-plated healthcare coverage. For a scant $503 a year, they're eligible to get their care at the Office of the Attending Physician, a comprehensive clinic in the Capitol building offering onsite specialists, varied imaging services and intensive primary care.

To learn more about this proposal:
- read this CQ Politics piece
- read coverage in the DesMoines Register
- read this ABC News report

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