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Obama to use health exchange for insurance

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WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama plans to buy new health insurance through the online marketplace created by his signature health care law, a spokesman said Monday, confirming a promise the White House made nearly three years ago as it fought to push the legislation through Congress.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that he did not have any update on the president’s plans to enroll but suggested Obama was among the many Americans who are taking their time signing up for a new insurance plan. Open enrollment ends March 31.

“I know that he will and has said that he will – or the White House has said that he will. But I don’t have any update,” Carney said.

The Affordable Care Act doesn’t require the president to use an online marketplace, although it does require members of Congress and their aides to use the website run by the District of Columbia.

But in March 2010, when Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, tried to pass an amendment to the legislation forcing the president into the exchange, the White House dismissed the provision as an “unnecessary” effort to delay the legislation. “The president will participate in the exchange,” then-White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said at the time.

The White House has since said little about the promise or the president’s plans.

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