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]
(D) REQUIREMENT OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO ENROLL IN THE PUBLIC OPTION.-
(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.”