Obamacare Causing Exodus on Capitol Hill?

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Politico reports dozens of lawmakers and aides on Capitol Hill are considering quitting or retiring early. Their worry: the president's healthcare plan will cause their insurance premiums to skyrocket.

A provision of the Affordable Care Act says members of Congress and their aides have to use healthcare plans created by the bill or offered through a new healthcare exchange.

That means those lawmakers will no longer have access to their current federal health benefits.

Many on Capitol Hill fear a massive exodus of lawmakers and aides could lead to an untimely drain of much needed talent and intellect as Congress tackles weighty issues, like tax code fights and immigration reform.

Officials say the House is most at risk where lawmakers and aides are younger and less wealthy, but both Republican and Democratic lawmakers claim veteran employees are discussing early retirement as well to remain on the current health care plan.

Jo Bonner, R-Ala., said he's already lost one staffer. The employee told him in confidence that "the thought of losing the opportunity to keep his health insurance on Dec. 31 [forced him to leave]." 

Meanwhile, House Democratic leadership say they are acutely aware that the issue must be resolved.

"The leadership has assured members that fixing this issue is a top priority," one Democratic leadership aide said. "This issue must be fixed by administrative action in order that the flawed Grassley Amendment's spirit is honored and all staff and members are treated the same."

The president's health care law goes into effect next year. 

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