The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Gregory King, 202-429-1145

AFSCME Calls on GOP Members of Congress to Reject Their Taxpayer Funded Health Care Plan

AFSCME Call Comes on Heels of New Polling Showing Voters Agree


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).

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."

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

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.

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."

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.