Did your representative vote to repeal health reform this week? Do they continue to enjoy the benefits of the government-run federal health insurance plan that health reform was modeled on? Are they refusing to cancel these benefits?
They're looking like hypocrites now, aren't they? And there's something you can do about it.
According to media reports, only a handful of Republicans caught the irony of this position and refused to accept the benefits of their government insurance plans.
ThinkProgress.org quoted several Republicans who voted to repeal health reform but are keeping their government insurance. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., said, “The issue was and always has been government-RUN health care …not government providing PRIVATE insurance to its employees.”
Her point seems to suggest she doesn't understand the health reform law. It contained no government-run program, but instead it created exchanges in which more private companies will have to compete for customers – just as in the federal insurance program she refuses to leave.
Notably her party did not try to pass a bill that would repeal Medicare – a government-run insurance program for seniors and the disabled. Nor did they try to kill Medicaid – though one suspects that many would want to. Many of their elderly Tea Party advocates would likely rebel, however.
Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Colo., in his explanation for keeping his government insurance said something quite shocking indeed. "I haven’t given it much thought because quite frankly I think I’m helping out the institution by lowering the risk pool for some of my older guys,” he told one outlet.
Hello? That's the point, right? Health reform will create larger insurance pools that will reduce the cost of coverage across the board. It's a good idea for members of Congress but not for Americans.
"I’m not going to become a burden for the state because I don’t have health care and, God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation…That can happen to anyone," added Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., in defending his decision to keep his government plan.
Grimm could do like most Americans do when they don't have insurance or are denied coverage: pay for it himself. He does make $174,000 in his part time job.
But seriously, why not apply his argument to the 50 million people who lack or are denied coverage because of high costs or (now out-lawed) rules that ensure high rates of profits by eliminating high-risk consumers?
In the end, 242 Republicans like these high-level thinkers here voted to repeal health reform. They voted to give back power to the insurance companies to deny coverage because of preexisting conditions and to discriminate against women. They voted to end benefits for seniors to cover prescription drug costs, to eliminate new rules that now provide free preventive exams and immunizations, and to end a new tax credit for small businesses that is already making insurance coverage affordable.
And they did this without any plan to cover the tens of millions of Americans who lack coverage or would be denied it.
So if this makes you mad you can send your representative a fax (via CredoAction.com) that includes the form on which they can opt out of the government insurance plan they are currently enjoying.