Refusing federal health benefits? | Arkansas Blog

Refusing federal health benefits?

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Some House Democrats are asking GOP members to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to accepting federal health care benefits. In a letter to Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and soon-to-be House Speaker John Boehner, Democrats are asking Republicans to refuse the federal health care benefits offered to congressmen based on their strong opposition to "government-run healthcare" voiced during the campaign and the battle over health care reform. This comes on the heels of Republican Representative-elect Andy Harris (R-MD) complaining in an orientation meeting earlier this week that his government subsidized health care plan would take a full month to kick in. From the letter:

"It is amazing that your members would complain about not having health care coverage for a few weeks, even after campaigning to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which will help provide coverage to millions of Americans who find themselves without health insurance for months or even years."

So what about the newly-elected Republican delegation from Arkansas? Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and Rick Crawford all voiced strong opposition to the health care reform bill passed earlier this year during their respective campaigns, saying they favor repeal of the law. Their opposition, however, might not translate to an outright refusal of government-subsidized benefits.

Womack said in an email that he would "either take the health coverage offered to members" or coverage through his wife's employment. Griffin said, "I plan to keep my current insurance plan that I purchase from Humana as an Army Reservist, if I am allowed. I haven’t discussed it yet." Crawford has yet to answer our request for comment.

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