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Why Has Every Pro-Repeal GOP Lawmaker Given Their Congressional Staff Taxpayer-Funded, Gov

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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-11 02:33 PM
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Why Has Every Pro-Repeal GOP Lawmaker Given Their Congressional Staff Taxpayer-Funded, Gov
Why Has Every Pro-Repeal GOP Lawmaker Given Their Congressional Staff Taxpayer-Funded, Gov Health Care?

Republicans took control of Congress promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act. However, at the same time they rip the bill as some sort of monstrosity of socialism, nearly every Republican lawmaker eagerly accepts government health benefits afforded to them as members of Congress. As ThinkProgress has noted, the congressional health benefits mirror the health plan passed by Democrats for the country: individuals choose private plans regulated under an exchange, and are given a subsidy to help them pay for their plan. As federal employees, lawmakers are given an average of $700-a-month in taxpayer money for their health insurance.

A select few pro-repeal lawmakers have refused to accept government health benefits for themselves to try to stay consistent in their opposition to government health care. Out of the few who have eschewed government health plans for themselves, many are either on government benefit plans from their service in state government or the military. Others are independently wealthy, like Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), who owns a large car dealership or Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), an investment banker.

More critically, every single Republican contacted by ThinkProgress has refused to deny government health benefits to their staff. Congressional staff members are granted the same taxpayer-subsidized, government-regulated health plans available to members. Unlike lawmakers, staff are often middle-class Americans who are not independently wealthy and need regular coverage in case they get sick. While lawmakers and their staff work ruthlessly to repeal health reform thus denying coverage to over 30 million Americans and helping insurance companies continue outrageous, life-threatening abuses to their customers pro-repeal members believe their staff should be free to choose quality government care:

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) accepted a challenge from Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) to refuse government health care. However, after being contacted by ThinkProgress, Kellys press secretary Julia Thornton said Kelly is still providing government health care to his staff, telling them they are free to choose a taxpayer subsidized plan if they wish.

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) has said that he is refusing government health care for himself. Stephanie Valle, the communications director for Gibson told ThinkProgress that Gibsons staff are allowed government health care. Valle told us, they are federal employees, so if they and their families choose to elect to do so, then yes.

Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL) has said he is refusing government health care for himself because he doesnt believe he deserves a special privilege just because he is a member of Congress. He explained to a local paper, why should I why should I get a cost savings because I just got elected to the United States House of Representatives? However, after being contacted by ThinkProgress, Nugents spokesman Harrison Lewis said that the congressman is still giving the privilege of taxpayer-funded health benefits to his staff. Lewis said Nugent told him specifically that he doesnt want to impose his feelings about this on anyone, referring to his staff.

In January, ThinkProgress spoke to several lawmakers about repealing, or at least denying, government health care for their own staff. Every single one we spoke to, including Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH), Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX), and Rep. John Runyon (R-NJ), refused. Guintas press followed up with ThinkProgress later and confirmed Guintas decision to give the choice of government health care to his employees:

FANG: Do you think its hypocritical to give your employees a choice whether they want this subsidized, highly regulated health care, while repealing it for everyone else?

GUINTA: Well my goal and my focus and my attention is to represent people in New Hampshire the way they would like me to represent them. What New Hampshire has said is that they dont support this health care legislation. They would like less expensive and constitutional legislation so thats the way Im going to represent New Hampshire. <...>

FANG: What about your staff members? Are they going to be rejecting government subsidized healthcare?

MARCHANT: Thatll be their individual choice. Itll be offered to them and itll be their choice.

KEYES: What about your staff, do you know if theyll be on that?

RUNYON: I dont know. <...>

Watch it:

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/03/repeal-staff-gop/
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Kennah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-11 02:40 PM
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1. It's about the American people's attention span
If a newly elected Representative is on COBRA from a previous gig, then just let the COBRA run it's course and when it runs out that's a qualifying life event for new coverage under the government plan.
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abq e streeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-11 02:43 PM
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2. Just a wild guess re:your question..um, because they're lying fucking hypocrites?
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