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Voters Want Anti-ObamaCare Congressman To Reject Congressional Health Insurance?

Sometimes, a poll comes back with an inherently silly result, and this strikes me as being one of those times:

Most voters say members of Congress who campaigned against the health care reform bill should turn down the medical insurance offered them as federal employees, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

In the Public Policy Polling survey, 53 percent of the voters said members who won election in part because of their opposition to health care reform should decline the insurance that comes with their new jobs in Congress. One-third of those surveyed said members should accept the insurance.

(…)

Liberal voters were slightly more open to seeing anti-health care members accept the health insurance, with 39 percent supporting it. Forty-eight percent said those new members should turn down the insurance.

Among voters who self-identified as conservative, 28 percent said members should enroll in the government insurance, while 55 percent they said should not.

I honestly don’t understand what people are thinking here. The health insurance that the Federal Government provides to Members of Congress, Federal employees, and civilian and uniformed members of the military is functionally no different from the health insurance benefit that any other employer provides to their employees. One can argue that the benefits that Federal employees get are better than what most private sector employees get (not to mention the fact that they’re provided at taxpayer expense). To argue that there is something hypocritical about opposing the Affordable Care Act and taking the insurance offered you as a Federal employee, as this poll seems to suggest, is perhaps the silliest, stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

So, yes, if you’re a Member of Congress go ahead and take the insurance. Then, get to work fixing the mess called “health care reform” that the 111th Congress left on your doorstep.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. alkali says:

    A congressman who accepts government health insurance cannot be trusted to balance the budget by cutting taxes and raising defense spending while not touching Social Security or Medicare.  (This is what happens when you give up rationality in favor of crude symbolism.)

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  2. Mithras says:

    A “medicare for all” single payer is the only rational choice.  The point is that government workers — including the rightwingers crying “socialism” — enjoy a single payer plan now.

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  3. […] Voters Want Anti-ObamaCare Congressman To Reject Congressional Health Insurance? (outsidethebeltway.com) This entry was posted in Life, Politics, Rant, Thoughts and tagged Business, California, Financial Services, Health, Health care, Health insurance, Insurance, Obamacare, Public Option, Republicans, Tea Party, United States. Bookmark the permalink. ← I’m Moving Back to California […]

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  4. sam says:

    “The health insurance that the Federal Government provides to Members of Congress, Federal employees, and civilian and uniformed members of the military is functionally no different from the health insurance benefit that any other employer provides to their employees.”
    Interesting question: Are members of Congress, of the Supreme Court, and the President and Vice-President of the United States employees of the government?
     

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  5. Michael says:

    People in general hate congress in general.  You can poll on anything, “Should the capital be airconditioned?” or “Should congressmen get lunch breaks” and you’ll find a large number of people who’ll say no.  Heck, I’d bet that at least 20% would be in favor of congressmen being flogged daily.

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  6. mantis says:

    I honestly don’t understand what people are thinking here. The health insurance that the Federal Government provides to Members of Congress, Federal employees, and civilian and uniformed members of the military is functionally no different from the health insurance benefit that any other employer provides to their employees.
     
    Really?  You don’t understand?  Everything the government does is bad, and if you get anything from the government, whether you contributed to programs or not, it’s evil communism.
     
    To argue that there is something hypocritical about opposing theAffordable Care Act and taking the insurance offered you as a Federal employee, as this poll seems to suggest, is perhaps the silliest, stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
     
    It is exactly as stupid and silly as medicare recipients insisting the government stay out of healthcare.  That’s the point, Doug.  Don’t act stupid.
     
    Then, get to work fixing the mess called “health care reform” that the 111th Congress left on your doorstep.
     
    Yeah, get to work making sure millions of Americans who can now or will soon be able to access health insurance, lose it again.  Hurry up!

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  7. anjin-san says:

    > “The health insurance that the Federal Government provides to <strong>Members of Congress</strong>, Federal employees, and civilian and uniformed members of the military is functionally no different from the health insurance benefit that any other employer provides to their employees.”
     
    Interesting. So I can just go to work on Monday and give myself a raise and increase my benefits if I wish?  Or exempt myself from laws I don’t like?

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  8. tom p says:

    Interesting. So I can just go to work on Monday and give myself a raise and increase my benefits if I wish?  Or exempt myself from laws I don’t like?

    Indeed Anjin, indeed…
    Then, get to work fixing the mess called “health care reform” that the 111th Congress left on your doorstep.
    As opposed to the mess the 109th congress left????? Doug, you are smarter than that. At least the 111th REDUCED (according to the CBO) health care spending where as the 109th…. Well off the top of my head, I don’t know exactly what Medicare part “D” did to the deficit, I only know it was not good…
     
    ps: 111th= Dem.
     
     

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  9. tom p says:

    wow… don’t know what happened there…. (I hate computers) but I was trying to point out the inconvenient fact that…
    the 109th Congress was Republican.
     

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  10. anjin-san says:

    > Medicare part “D” did to the deficit
     
    Keep your greedy government loving hands off my medicare, you Bolshevik!

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  11. Think about what the reporter is saying: “The health insurance that the Federal Government provides to Members of Congress, Federal employees, and civilian and uniformed members of the military is functionally no different from the health insurance benefit that any other employer provides to their employees.”
    Reform in the same as described above, unless someone thinks it’s “government run.” The government is acting no different for congress than it is for reform. It’s all still private.
    That’s why policians should give up government influence health care benefits, because will destroy “the best system in the world.” Walk the walk.

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  12. Nightrider says:

    Why do you expect rationality from people who have no idea why they actually oppose the health care bill?  The bill has some problems, but I’d bet even a number of the Tea Party types just elected to Congress can’t intelligently explain them.

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