Democrats are accusing Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) of hypocrisy after the Massachusetts Republican and staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act revealed to the Boston Globe on Tuesday that he relies on a provision of the law to keep his 23-year-old daughter “on his congressional health insurance plan.” Brown ran as the 41st vote against President Obama’s health care reform bill in a special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and voted three times to repeal the law.
But now, he’s brushing off the criticism by insisting that “he was actually taking advantage of the law in Massachusetts that allows children to remain on their parents’ insurance plan until age 24.” “You can do that in Massachusetts, I voted for that,” Brown said. “For (Warren) to call me a hypocrite as to how Gail and I provide for our family, it’s sad,” Brown said, referring to his wife, Gail Huff.
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.”
The Brown campaign did not return multiple requests for comment.