Today, Republican Members of Congress who ran on a platform of repealing health care and patients' rights for millions of Americans officially began receiving their own Congressional health insurance. Just two weeks after their party voted unanimously to strip patient protections and affordable coverage for all Americans, all but 15 new Republican members of the 112th Congress are enrolled in a comprehensive insurance plan. Their plan is paid for with generous subsidies courtesy of the American taxpayer, and has no waiting period for pre-existing illness or disability.
Beginning today, a new Republican Member of Congress with high blood pressure, diabetes, or any chronic condition is immediately covered at the same premium cost as 8 million other federal employees. The same is true for his or her spouse and dependent children, regardless of age, gender or prior illness.
That would not be the case for millions of Americans if the GOP health care repeal bill becomes law. For 129 million men and women under the age of 65 who have pre-existing conditions, repeal of the Affordable Care Act would spell the end of protection from price and coverage discrimination that newly-covered Republican Members of Congress now enjoy.
If the Republican repeal bill were to become law, 1.2 million young Americans between ages 22 and 26 who just became eligible to stay on their parents' insurance plans will be cut loose again and sent back to the ranks of the uninsured.
But my new Republican colleagues would keep theirs.
If the Republican repeal bill were to become law, patients with costly chronic conditions like, cancer, hemophilia and ALS would again be subject to lifetime and yearly limits on coverage. Millions of Americans struck by catastrophic illness or injury would again find themselves exposed to loss of home or bankruptcy. For our family, friends and neighbors, peace of mind would be gone.
But again, my new Republican colleagues would keep theirs.
If the GOP repeal bill were to become law, 4 million small business owners would see their 2010 taxes increase by thousands of dollars each year. The Affordable Care Act included tax credits starting this year to provide relief to small employers who pay much higher premiums than large firms.
Despite the blatant cost increase repeal would force on job-creating small businesses across the country, my new Republican colleagues themselves would not pay a penny more.
Your tax dollars at work, folks. Does YOUR right-wing Congressman accept this insurance while voting against YOUR right to have this kind of coverage? Mine does.