We learned this week that Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) takes advantage of the Affordable Care Act to bring health care coverage to his own adult daughters. The problem, of course, is that Brown has also voted to kill the entirety of the law, and fully intends to keep trying until “Obamacare” and its benefits have been eliminated.
The Republican senator wants the law to help his kids, but he also wants to destroy the law, no matter what it does to everyone else’s kids.
Pressed on this, Brown changed his story. After initially saying he insurers his daughters through his congressional insurance plan, the Massachusetts senator changed his mind and said he’s actually taking advantage of state measures, which he’d voted for, not the Democrats’ reform law.
As Igor Volsky explained, this version doesn’t appear to be true.
Brown may have taken advantage of Massachusetts reform while serving in the Bay State, but as a senator, he’s benefiting from the ACA’s most popular provision.
According to the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) website, Brown’s congressional health care plan (the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan) is regulated by federal law, not state legislation – “The FEHB Program is a Federal program and preempts state law requirements,” the site says – and the program allows dependents to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26 as a result of Obamacare. […]
An official at OPM confirmed to ThinkProgress that “As long as the parent has a self-and-family enrollment, dependent children are covered under that enrollment until they reach age 26, as a result of passage of the ACA. Before the ACA, the dependent age was by FEHB law up to age 22.”
So, Scott Brown enjoys a benefit he wants to deny to everyone else, and then he fibbed to try to get out of it?
That’s not a good combination.
It’s also worth emphasizing that from Brown’s perspective, the larger issue just isn’t worth worrying about. What happens if he succeeds and the law is eliminated? Brown and his wife made over a half-million dollars last year, so they’re in a position to help their adult kids pay for insurance and medical expenses.
Since 99% of American households make far less than the senator and his wife, the question becomes what happens to 18-to-25 year olds who don’t come from wealthy families. As Brown sees it, states might consider passing measures similar to “Obamacare” if the law is destroyed, which he thinks would solve the problem. But if your state is dominated by Republican policymakers and chooses not to take this step? Well, apparently you’re out of luck. Maybe you should have picked a better state (or wealthier parents).
Remember, this is what passes for GOP moderation on health care policy – a confused senator who hates the Affordable Care Act, despite not knowing why, who wants to benefit from the law he thinks he finds offensive, while taking those benefits away from everyone else, and then fudging the truth when questions arise.