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Sebelius: I'm Not Losing My Health Care Insurance Because I'm a Federal Employee

By Craig Bannister | October 30, 2013 | 1:21pm EDT

HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius testified today that "It's illegal" for her to be just like the American people and join the Obamacare exchange.

Sebelius also said she wasn't losing her plan because she works for the federal government.

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) grilled Sebelius about why she won't "be just like the American people and enter the exchange" - to which the HHS secretary replied, "It's illegal":

Rep. Cory Gardner: "Why aren't you losing your insurance?"

HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius: "Pardon me?"

Gardner: "Why aren't you losing your health insurance?"

Sebelius: "Because I'm part of the federal employees' medical plan."

Gardner: "Why aren't you in the exchange? You're in charge of this law, correct? Why aren't you in the exchange?"

Sebelius: "Because I'm part of the federal employee health benefit plan."

Gardner: "Why aren't you in the exchange? Why won't you go into the exchange? You're a part of this law - you're literally in charge of this law - should you be any different than all of the other Americans out there who are losing their health insurance?"

Sebelius: "I am a part of the 95% with affordable available health care coverage as are most of your colleagues."

Gardner: "You part of a plan that most Americans are not available to them. Why will you not agree to..."

Sebelius: "I am not eligible for the exchange."

Gardner: "You can decide to drop the coverage from your employer. You have the choice to decide not to choose..."

Sebelius: "That is not true, sir."

Gardner: :I chose not to go..."

Sebelius: "Members of Congress are now part of the exchange thanks to an amendment that was added by Congress, but I am not eligible. If I have affordable coverage in my workplace, I am not eligible to go into the marketplace."

Gardner: "With all due respect, Madam 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: "It's illegal."

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