With the Republican legislative agenda increasingly focused on repealing health care reform, many observers are beginning to question whether GOPers in Congress will personally abide by their beliefs and take the next step of forgoing government-sponsored health insurance for themselves.
In sum, only eight GOP congressman, or three percent of all House Republicans, have opted out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. One Republican loudly complained about having his own government-sponsored health insurance delayed approximately four weeks. But most GOPers have quietly continued to accept government-sponsored health care while loudly decrying the government’s role in helping provide health care to a segment of the American public.
ThinkProgress recently caught up with a number of congressmen to ask whether they too planned to continue receiving health insurance through the federal government. Their reasons for continuing to take government-subsidized health insurance ran the gamut — from Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), whose justification was that he was “actually lowering” premiums for older members of Congress, to Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who admitted that accepting government-sponsored health care “could be” hypocritical, but shrugged it off nonetheless.
ThinkProgress compiled a video of other Republican congressmen explaining why they want to repeal health care reform for the nation but plan to keep government-subsidized health care for themselves. Watch it:
On average, congressmen receive $700 per month in taxpayer subsidies to help pay for their health insurance. Members use these subsidies to choose a health insurance plan available through a government-sponsored exchange which, among other regulations, bars discrimination based on preexisting conditions. As Lee Fang of ThinkProgress notes, “The federal system mirrors the reforms enacted by Democrats and President Obama, which end health insurance abuses by regulating coverage through an exchange, while offering subsidies to individuals and small businesses to make coverage more affordable.”