Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) acknowledged Tuesday that his daughter has health insurance thanks in part to President Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform law, which Brown voted to block and has voted three times to repeal.
Brown's family makes use of a popular provision in the law permitting children ages 26 and younger to remain on their parents' health insurance plans.
The senator insures his 23-year-old daughter Ayla on the congressional health plan, he said Tuesday.
"Of course I do," he told the Boston Globe.
He went on to argue that his objections to the healthcare law are not inconsistent with using it to insure his daughter because similar requirements could be mandated at the state level.
"I’ve said right from the beginning, that if there are things that we like, we should take advantage of them and bring them back here to Massachusetts," Brown said.
"I’ve already voted to repeal it. You know where I stand on this,” he said. “This isn’t news."
In an ironic twist, Republicans pointed out that under the healthcare reforms enacted under former Gov. Mitt Romney, children in Massachusetts without employer-covered insurance can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 25, or for two years after their parents stop claiming them as a dependent — whichever comes sooner.
A Brown spokesman did not immediately respond to a message inquiring whether Brown had claimed his daughter as a dependent within the past two years.
But Ayla’s age makes it highly likely that she would have been eligible for insurance under the Massachusetts plan even if Brown and Republicans had successfully thwarted Obama’s healthcare law.
Warren’s campaign pounced on the revelation as an opportunity to remind voters of Brown’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act while simultaneously accusing him of hypocrisy.
“We now live in a world in which America’s middle class is getting hammered on healthcare costs,” Warren said Tuesday.
Her audience at a construction union conference in Washington booed when she mentioned Brown’s name.
“We just learned today that in Massachusetts, he is using that same healthcare reform act to make sure reform act to make sure his adult daughter gets covered on his health insurance policy — at the same moment he wants to repeal it for everyone else.”
Warren spokeswoman Alethea Harney said “Scott Brown spells health care: H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y," while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dubbed it “the latest example of Scott Brown telling Bay State voters one thing in Massachusetts and then doing another when he’s in Washington.”
Brown’s campaign declined to comment on the record, but said the senator wants Obama’s law repealed so that control over healthcare can be returned to the states.
There was a particular irony to Warren’s argument that Brown should not take advantage of a policy that applies to all Americans because he opposed the legislation that brought it about. Just two weeks ago, Warren and her team were brushing off an attack from Brown steeped in parallel logic and similar accusations of duplicity.
Warren supported the Buffet Rule, a measure Obama has pushed to create a minimum tax rate for millionaires. Although tax returns released by Warren last week indicated she paid all of the taxes she owed, Brown’s campaign called her out for declining to voluntarily pay more taxes. If Warren believes in higher taxes, they argued, she should put her money where her mouth is.
"Millionaire Warren lectures others about their obligation and responsibility to pay higher taxes, but she refuses to pay the optional higher rate available in Massachusetts,” Brown’s campaign manager, Jim Barnett, wrote in April. “This is the sort of hypocrisy and double-speak voters are sick and tired of hearing from politicians, especially those who can't keep their hands out of others' pocketbooks.”
A poll conducted April 9 had Brown and Warren running neck-and-neck. The Hill rates this race a toss-up.
— This story was originally posted at 3:17 p.m. and updated at 5:26 p.m.