Colorado Republican Among Those Whose Healthcare Plan Is Canned
Some members of Congress are sharing in the pain of canceled insurance policies in the wake of Obamacare going into effect.
Upon coming to the House in 2011, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) opted out of the congressional healthcare plan so that he wouldn't have more than his constituents.
At yesterday's Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, he showed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius his family's cancellation notice.
"Here's my letter. This is the letter my family got canceling our insurance. We chose to have our own private policy back in Colorado so we could be in the same boat as everyone of my constituents. And yet my insurance policy has been canceled. The White House website says if you like your health plan you have, you can keep it," Gardner said. "Did I hear it wrong?"
"I don't know how long you've had your policy..." Sebelius began.
"why won't you go into the exchange? You're a part of this law. You're literally in charge of this law. Should you be any different than all of the other Americans out there losing their health insurance?" Gardner asked.
Sebelius argued that she has federal employee health coverage and not eligible. "I'm part of the 95 percent with affordable available health care coverage," she said. "...If I have affordable coverage in my workplace, I'm not eligible to go into the marketplace, that's part of the law."
Gardner told Sebelius that he would seek one of those HHS waivers to free his constituents from the law.
"I would also like to submit a waiver for my district from Obamacare and hope you consider waiving Obamacare for the Fourth Congressional District," he said.
Gardner said after the hearing that Sebelius should further explain her statements before the committee.
“When I asked her why she wouldn’t join the healthcare exchanges like millions of Americans are being forced to do, she said claimed that it was ‘illegal for me.' Is she lying, or is she unsure about the very law she is in charge of administering? What is illegal about her enrolling in the exchange? If she is misinformed, and unaware of the fact that she is eligible to join, I urge her to visit healthcare.gov where it clearly shows she meets the three criteria listed," he said.
“My constituents are tired of the constant stream of misinformation, or lack of information, that comes from this White House. Congress must be given the information it needs to perform its oversight responsibilities. In the meantime, I urge Secretary Sebelius to admit she was not telling the truth, or unaware of the law.”