Fox's MacCallum falsely claims no Senate Democrats willing to enroll in public option themselves

Martha MacCallum falsely claimed that no Democratic senators “wanted to give up” their current health insurance “to join on to a public option.” In fact, Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown, Christopher Dodd, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, and Barbara Mikulski have co-sponsored an amendment to mandate congressional members to enroll in the public option, should it pass -- with Democratic co-sponsors now outnumbering Republican co-sponsors of the amendment.

From the December 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

BRIAN KILMEADE: But meanwhile we were also talking about a public option on Capitol Hill yesterday and there might be an alternative in the works.

MacCALLUM: Yeah, they're trying to figure out if they can build something on the federal employee plan because everybody knows that congressmen and congresswomen say, you know, “We have a really great plan, we get to choose from a number of different options it works really well,” and as you also probably remember none of them wanted to give up that plan to join on to a public option so now they're bringing that out as an alternative to a government-run option.

Fact: Senate amendment requiring members of Congress to enroll in public option co-sponsored by more Democrats than Republicans

Democratic Senators outnumber Republicans as amendment co-sponsors. The eight cosponsors of amendment 2789 to the Senate health reform bill include five Democrats and three Republicans: Sens. David Vitter (R-LA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), and Russ Feingold (D-WI). [Accessed via Thomas]

Amendment requires “members of Congress to enroll in the public option.” Amendment 2789 requires House and Senate members to enroll in the public option. From the amendment:


(i) REQUIREMENT.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all Members of Congress shall be enrolled in the community health insurance option when established by the Secretary.

(ii) INELIGIBLE FOR FEHBP.--Effective on the date on which the community health insurance option is established by the Secretary, no Member of Congress shall be eligible to participate in a health benefits plan under chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code

(iii) EXCEPTION.--Notwithstanding clauses (i) and (ii), if a Member of Congress resides in a State which opts out of providing a community health insurance option, that Member may be enrolled in a health benefits plan under chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code, during any period which that State has opted out.

Coburn, Vitter allegedly resisted allowing Democratic co-sponsors of amendment. Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown told The Hill on December 3 that Republican Sens. Coburn and Vitter have “not said yes to allow me to be a co-sponsor ... I've called their office four times.”