In Thursday’s U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) found something in the normally polarizing debate of the ACA to agree upon: their insurance careers.

When Harkin, who is chairman of the committee, called upon Scott to question the witness, Scott said, “Thank you Senator Harkin, I didn’t realize you were an insurance agent as well at one point in your career,” in response to an earlier comment the senior senator from Iowa had made about selling. The following back-and forth ensued:

Harkin: “A long time ago.”

Scott: “A long time ago? … Five years?” [Laughter]

Harkin: “Thank you. You’re going to be a great member of this committee.” [More laughter]

Scott: “Yes sir, Mr. Chairman …”

According to Scott’s website, he owned an Allstate agency for a number of years prior to entering politics. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives before being appointed in January to the Senate by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, to fill former-Sen. Jim DeMint’s seat, who resigned.

Harkin has served in U.S. Congress since 1974, serving 10 years first in the House and the rest in the Senate. He said during Thursday’s briefing about the ACA that, “As a former insurance salesman myself, a long time ago, people are better off with more people in the pool, so young people need to understand that.”

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