Under questioning during a congressional hearing, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius repeatedly insisted that it would be "illegal" for her to enroll in insurance through a government-run exchange created by President Obama's health care law because she has coverage through the federal health benefits system.
But in reality, as stated on Healthcare.gov, she would be eligible to obtain coverage through an Obamacare exchange.
She just wouldn't be able to claim government subsidies to help her purchase insurance.
“I am not eligible for the exchange, because I have coverage in an employer plan,” Sebelius said in response to a question from Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., during a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
She added, “That’s part of the law.”
Gardner followed up, saying, “Madame Secretary, I would encourage you to be just like the American people and enter the exchange and agree to find a way to do that.”
Sebelius, who is tasked with overseeing the implementation of Obamacare, replied, “It’s illegal.”
But Healthcare.gov lists three requirements for purchasing a plan on an exchange: Buyers “must live in the United States"; “must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present)"; and “can't be currently incarcerated.”
Unless there’s something Sebelius isn’t sharing, she meets all three of those criteria.
Watch a video of the exchange.
Later in the hearing, Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., asked Sebelius again if she’d be willing to go into the exchange if she were allowed to.
She declined, saying she didn’t want to give “misinformation” to the American public and repeated that it would be illegal.