As health care plays a starring role in 2014 race, who is providing staff with insurance?

12/08/2013 10:38 PM

A political campaign, unlike a position with a private business, doesn’t necessarily come with a guarantee of health insurance or other benefits for staff.

But because the Affordable Health Act — and health care coverage in general — has been such a major theme in the 2014 U.S. Senate race, it begged the question: Which candidates are providing health insurance for their campaign workers and how are they doing it?

Campaign finance reports show that Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell is providing his full time campaign staff with health insurance policies with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“As Senator McConnell leads the fight against the government takeover of health care, he is proud to honor his responsibility as a private employer and provide health benefits for his campaign staff,” McConnell campaign spokeswoman told Pure Politics.

This is different from McConnell’s federal staff who are getting their health care coverage through the health benefits exchange , which is required by language of the Affordable Care Act.

Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes also provides her full-time staff with private health insurance through Anthem, as her campaign finance reports show.

“It is absolutely a priority for Alison to provide insurance for her employees and it’s something that she made a point to do since day one of making her first hires and announcing her intentions to enter this race. Every full time employee is offered insurance,” Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton said in a statement to Pure Politics.

Grimes has expressed concerns with the Affordable Care Act during the course of her campaign, specifically over burdensome regulations, its regulatory impact on businesses, and the employer mandate.

McConnell’s primary challenger, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, has been a vocal opponent of the health care law and has repeatedly criticized McConnell for not doing enough to stop the law.

Bevin’s campaign finance reports do not show any payment to insurance companies. The Bevin campaign did not respond to multiple requests to confirm whether or not he is providing insurance to staffers.

If campaign staffers are not provided insurance through their employer, they would have to get insurance through a spouse — or parent if they’re 26 or younger — or the health benefits exchange set up through the Affordable Care Act because the law requires everyone have insurance.

About Pure Politics

Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.


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