Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) wants Republican lawmakers opposed to Obamacare to forgo all government health care — and one GOP congressman has announced that he will do just that.
Representative-elect Joe Walsh (R., Ill.) told CNN this morning that he will not accept the government health insurance offered to all House members because he doesn’t want to “burden the American taxpayer.”
“My wife and I are going to struggle because of it. But I was sent to Washington to do what I said I was going to do, and this was a pledge I had out there for a year,” remarked Walsh, whose wife has a preexisting medical condition.
Walsh’s decision won approval from Schumer, who told Politico that Walsh was a “very good example.”
“It seems unfair that House Republicans want to deprive middle-class Americans of the same health care as members of Congress but to keep it for themselves,” Schumer said.
Look for this to be an ongoing Democratic attack theme: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has started a petition to urge “House Republicans … [to] forgo their taxpayer-funded health care coverage before trying to repeal health insurance reform for hardworking Americans.”
But in an e-mailed statement to Politico, Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring said that the so-called hypocrisy cuts both ways.
“If Senator Schumer wants to operate in the world of the illogical, we assume that he, Leader Reid, and Rep. Pelosi will be giving up their own health care since it doesn’t include the public option,” wrote Dayspring. “We also assume that all three will refuse to accept the extension of current tax rates and volunteer to pay higher taxes for the next two years.”