This evening, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) explained that he opposed a provision in the Affordable Care Act that would allow children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 because it could permit some younger members of Congress to “still be on mommy and daddy’s health insurance policy” when they’re elected*. King explained that all members should take responsibility for their own government-sponsored health insurance plans:
KING: What a lot of people don’t know in this country is that there are at least two members of this Congress that were elected before age 26 and had Obamacare been implemented before they had been elected to office, they would have, could have, been on their parents health insurance plan. Now isn’t that a nice thing when you wean them off of their parents’ health insurance plan and you transfer them over and put a pin on their lapel and say, ‘now run the country!’ They haven’t had a single minute of their own health insurance coverage until they get here and actually we have a responsibility for it here.
Later in the speech, King inadvertently made the case for the individual mandate when he defended the right of insurance companies to “discriminate” against individuals with pre-existing conditions. King argued that insurers should be able to ban individuals who waited to purchase coverage after becoming sick because property and casualty insurers can disqualify individuals who purchase a policy just as their houses catch on fire. Watch that HERE.
The individual mandate, however, would prevent this kind of gaming of the system by encouraging Americans to purchase insurance before they become sick.
* It’s unclear who King was referring to, however, since it appears that everyone in this Congress was over 26 years of age when elected. I have asked his office to clarify.