While House Republicans have put a vote on health care reform repeal on hold in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six others in Tucson Saturday, they haven’t backed off their threat to repeal a law that eventually will provide health coverage for 30 million people.
With the exception of three freshmen lawmakers, according to The Hill, repeal-backing Republicans are maintaining their taxpayer supported health insurance. That is comprehensive coverage where they have a choice of policies through an exchange that is the model of the insurance exchange health care reform creates for everyday Americans.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the most popular plan for lawmakers is a Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan with no coverage limit, $20 doctor visits, $10 generic drugs and free immunizations among other benefits. Taxpayers foot $700 a month of the $1,030 a month premium for a family of four.
Last week, Lee Fang at Think Progress asked newly-elected Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.) who campaigned on a promise to repeal health care reform, if he planned to accept government health care.
Fang writes that Hurt “tired to initially deny that he received any special health care and that his plan is available to the public.”
In fact, the regulated private insurance that Hurt and his staff receive is not open to the general public because the general public does not have access to a regulate exchange or to taxpayer subsidies.
Here’s part of the transcript and you can see the full interview here.
HURT: It’s a policy that’s issued by Anthem and it’s a policy that any– it’s open to the public.
TP: But my tax dollars and everyone’s tax dollars subsidize your plan as a member of Congress. And all of your staff members. You’ve got what, thirty members of your staff? Do you think they should have government-sponsored health care if you’re going to repeal it for everyone else?
HURT: If you’re going to pay members of Congress anything, if they’re going to have a salary and they’re going to have benefits, like so many people who are employed do, then I think it’s not unreasonable to offer those benefits. So I support that.
Sure is good to know that he doesn’t think it’s “not unreasonable” for him and other health care repealers to get decent health care coverage, but is apparently quite unreasonable to share to share that good fortune with the rest of country–you know, the folks who pay your salary and most of your health care.