Health Care Works Great— for Congress

Taxpayers spend $15B to offer 8.5M federal workers primo benefits
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2009 2:00 PM CDT
Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Wis., has refused to accept federal health care benefits, making him the only member of Congress to do without.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
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(Newser) – As members of Congress tear into each other over health care reform, they do so assured that a top shelf taxpayer-funded smorgasboard of health plans are there to respond to their slightest sniffle, Mark Barabak and Faye Fiore note in the Los Angeles Times. Last year, taxpayers spent about $15 billion to insure 8.5 million federal workers and their dependents.

But on Capitol Hill, resistance remains high to compelling lawmakers to enroll in any government plan they pass. Just one member so far has turned down federal health care benefits. “If every member of Congress put their heads on their pillow every night like I do,” said Wisconsin Rep. Steve Kagen, “knowing this could be the night I lose my house, we’d fix health care in a week.”