Sunday, October 6, 2013

FACT CHECK: NRCC’s New Health Care Ad Campaign Is A Big Fat Lie 

The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched new radio ads falsely claiming that Representative Scott Peters voted to protect “Congress’ taxpayer funded healthcare” and ensure “members of Congress receive special subsidies to pay for their healthcare.”

It’s a big fat lie.  In reality, major nonpartisan organizations have concluded that there is no special exemption or subsidy, even some House Republicans have admitted it isn’t true and House Speaker John Boehner lobbied to protect it.


·         CNN: Congress, Staff are Not Exempt from Obamacare. “Congress is no more exempt than any other employer who drops coverage and then helps employees purchase insurance on the exchanges.” [CNN, 9/25/13]

·         Politifact: “False.” “Cruz… said the president ‘just granted all of Congress an exception.’ … We rate Cruz’s claim False.” [Politifact, 8/14/13]

· “Lawmakers and their Staffs Face Additional Requirements that other Americans Don’t.” “Congress isn’t ‘exempt’ from the law…In fact, as we’ve said before, lawmakers and their staffs face additional requirements that other Americans don’t… federal employees will have to get insurance through the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act. Other Americans with work-based insurance aren’t subject to such a requirement.” [, 8/30/13]

·         Roll Call: Norm Ornstein, AEI: False. “On the assertion that Members of Congress are exempt from the provisions of the Affordable Care Act: also false. Members of Congress are subject under the health care reform law to the same mandate that others are to purchase insurance, and their plans must have the same minimum standards of benefits that other insurance plans will have to meet. Members of Congress currently have not a gold-plated free plan but the same insurance options that most other federal employees have, and they do not have it provided for free.” [Roll Call, 5/11/11]

·         The Hill: “At least two House Republicans have acknowledged that the policy is not an exemption from the healthcare law. Rep. Krisi Noem (R-S.D.) reportedly told one of her constituents that Congress is not exempt, and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) also pushed back against talk of an exemption." [The Hill, 9/30/13]

·         National Review: “They haven’t been “exempted” from the amendment that forces them onto the exchanges, in a way no other American is […] The net result of the law and the workaround isn’t a “special handout” for congressional employees […] But people who happen to be paid by the federal treasury don’t deserve to have the entire value of their existing coverage stripped away, as almost no Americans will experience. [National Review, 9/27/13]

·         Speaker Boehner Protected These So-Called Subsidies. “Yet behind-the-scenes, Boehner and his aides worked for months […] to save these very same, long-standing subsidies, according to documents and e-mails provided to POLITICO. […] Boehner wondered aloud at one point whether he and the Nevada Democrat could quietly slip some language into a bill to end the problem without it receiving any public attention.” [Politico, 10/1/13]

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