The cheap shots at Obamacare, however, persist. In a segment on this morning’s edition of “Happening Now,” host Jon Scott announced the news that Democrats on Capitol Hill had met with President Obama to talk about defending Obamacare from Republican plans to “repeal and replace” the system. After that session, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi hailed the Affordable Care Act as “transformative in terms of what it meant in the lives of the American people and that health care in our country is a right, not a privilege.”
Seeking to start a panel discussion on the matter, Scott turned to commentator Simon Rosenberg, “As I was listening to Nancy Pelosi talk about how great Obamacare is, I was wondering, why, then, did Congress exempt themselves and members of their staffs from having to live under it?”
Untrue. As numerous fact-checkers have pointed out, congressional lawmakers and staffers were once eligible for enrollment in the fabulous Federal
Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. Then came Obamacare, which declared that the “only health plans that the federal government may make available to Members and designated congressional staff … are either created under the ACA or offered through an exchange established
under the ACA.” A great migration ensued. As The Post reported, 12,359 representatives and staff members bought plans via Obamacare as of February 2014. These folks have remained eligible for employer contributions to health-care premiums, just as they had pre-Obamacare.
The congressional-exemption myth is an extraordinarily efficient vehicle for Fox News’s long-running campaign to kill Obamacare. In one bogus talking point, it allows the network’s pundits and anchors to simultaneously paint Congress as a bunch of elitists and suggest that the health-care plans on the Obamacare exchanges are unworthy of people of means. Nor is Scott by any means the first to trot out the falsehood, which has proved itself remarkably debunk-resistant.