During a heated conversation with Chelsea Handler at Politicon on Saturday, July 29, Tomi Lahren — who became famous for ranting on Glenn Beck's online network The Blaze — accidentally revealed that she benefits from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare. Lahren is staunchly anti-ACA -- or, so she thought, anyways. But it turns out that the 24-year-old has health insurance through her parents thanks to a key provision in the ACA that allows individuals under 26 to remain on their parents' health insurance.
Inevitably, people pounced on her statement and pointed out the deep irony of a woman who has said government-run health care is a "nightmare," and Obamacare is a "sack of sh*t," benefitting from government health care.
But Lahren has continued to defend herself.
On Monday, she took to Twitter to defend her anti-ACA stance, stating that both House and Senate versions of Republican bills meant to repeal and replace Obamacare include the under-26 provision as well.
Lahren isn't wrong. The House and Senate versions of the GOP health care bills do include the under-26 provision.
But the problem with Lahren's defense is that, well, the GOP only put this provision into its bills because it was already wildly popular, thanks to the ACA.
What's most frustrating about Lahren's well-the-GOP-supports-it defense is that President Obama's ACA did it first.
You can't give credit to a group that hasn't even passed their own bill for thinking about maintaining an extremely popular provision. To put another way: it would have been political suicide to get rid of this key Obama directive. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey conducted in December 2016 found that eight in 10 Republicans and nine in 10 Democrats support the benefit, according to CNN Money.
In other words: Obama is the reason she has health care at this moment.
I understand that Lahren has a brand to maintain, but her defense doesn't make sense. It shows a serious lack of understanding when it comes to actual policy. Much like her garbled, confusing stance on reproductive rights, she seems more concerned with maintaining her image as a "conservative firebrand" than she is with actually learning about what she believes in and what systems she benefits from.
She has consistently criticized the ACA for being a failure. She also, seemingly, didn't actually know that the ACA is what has allowed her to continue to use her parents' health insurance:
So it's very possible that she genuinely didn't know that she benefits from Obamacare. But if she's going to brand herself as a conservative pundit, she better read up on these policies and actually build some expertise.