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Kathleen Sebelius Totally Blew It At The House Hearing On Obamacare

The secretary of health and human services seems to not even know the law she was supposed to be advocating for. She was right she can’t enroll, but for the wrong reason.

At the House hearing on Obamacare Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said it would be illegal for her to sign up for federal health care exchanges, saying she was not eligible because she had insurance through her employer.

“It’s illegal,” Sebelius said in response to a question asked by Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado.

According to HealthCare.gov, however, Sebelius is wrong and she is legally allowed to get insurance on the exchange but would not receive her employer’s contribution to her premiums.

Here’s the text of the relevant section:

If you’d like to explore Marketplace coverage options you can, but there are several important things to consider.

Comparing job-based and Marketplace plans

With most job-based health insurance plans, an employer pays part of your premiums. If you pick a Marketplace plan instead, the employer doesn’t contribute to your premiums. You should consider this carefully before comparing Marketplace plans.

Later, Democratic California Rep. Henry Waxman asked her to answer Rep. Gardner’s question “for the record” and a hot microphone caught her saying “don’t do this to me.”

Update - Oct. 30, 2:53 p.m., EDT: The liberal blog Think Progress reports that Sebelius is 65 and is Medicare and it would be illegal for her to enroll in ObamaCare. At the hearing, Sebelius cited she had coverage through her employer, not mentioning Medicare. The Washington Post also reported that Sebelius would indeed be able to sign up for ObamaCare coverage if she were to forgo being in Medicare.

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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.
 
 
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