Call Comes on Heels of New Polling Showing Voters Agree
Washington, DC — Today, the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) called on Republican Members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to abstain from enrolling in the Federal Employees’ Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP).
“These Republicans want to repeal health reform, putting the insurance companies back in charge and putting affordable coverage out of reach of millions of Americans,” said AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee. “If they enroll in the taxpayer-funded health care system provided to members of Congress, they deserve to be denounced as hypocrites.”
Republicans spent an astounding amount of time during the 2010 campaign rallying against the Affordable Care Act — a law that will end the worst insurance company abuses such as eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions and annual and lifetime coverage limits. “If you campaigned for repeal, you should go without taxpayer-funded coverage first,” said McEntee.
A new poll by Public Policy Polling shows that a 53% majority of Americans believe that members of Congress who campaigned against the health care law should decline coverage provided by taxpayers. The sentiment is most strong among independent (56% to 27%) and Republican (58% to 28%) voters. The poll results are available here.
Congressman-elect Andy Harris (R-MD) recently drew attention to the Republicans’ hypocrisy on health care by complaining about the 28 days he would have to go without taxpayer-funded insurance — immediately after being elected to Congress on an anti-reform platform. “The answer to the ever-rising cost of insurance is not the expansion of government-run or government-mandated insurance but, instead, common-sense, market-based solutions that ensure decisions are made by patients and their doctors.”
McEntee says Harris is displaying “breathtaking hypocrisy.”
“If these Republicans really support market-based solutions to health care, they ought to go out and try to buy an individual policy in the insurance market,” McEntee said.
AFSCME’s 1.6 million members provide the vital services that make America happen. With members in hundreds of different occupations – from nurses to corrections officers, child care providers to sanitation workers – AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and prosperity and opportunity for all working families.
American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO
1625 L Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036-5687
Telephone (202) 429-1145
Fax (202) 429-1120