I am curious as to whether Members of Congress are subject to the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act says they are:


(i) REQUIREMENT.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are—

(I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or

(II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

(ii) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:

(I) MEMBER OF CONGRESS.—The term ‘‘Member of Congress’’ means any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate.

(II) CONGRESSIONAL STAFF.—The term ‘‘congressional staff’’ means all full-time and parttime employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.

However, the first sentence of this passage confuses me:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law

Does this mean that Congress could pass a bill exempting Members of Congress from the Affordable Care Act? Or am I misunderstanding the line?

If Congress is able to pass a provision exempting, or adding other options as health plans, to Members of Congress, have they?

1 Answer 1


Members of Congress are not exempt. "Notwithstanding any other provision of law" means that this law takes precedence over any law that would otherwise make a member of Congress eligible for a non-ACA plan. It's a fairly common line to see in legislation, and doesn't set up some easier way for Congress to change it later.

That said, as this is an act of Congress, Congress can obviously repeal this provision if they wanted to; that has nothing to do with "notwithstanding any other provision of law," and everything to do with the fact that Congress is allowed to repeal laws or parts of laws that it passed. They have not done so, however.

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