It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) introduced a bill Monday that urges members of Congress who vote to create a government-run health insurance agency to give up their own comprehensive health insurance plans to join the new the public option they advocate for others.
The bill, H. Res. 615, says members of Congress who vote for a government-run health care bureau should become the inaugural customers of government-run health-care.
Fleming said he offered the non-binding resolution after he found out that under both the House and Senate proposals, members of Congress and other federal government employees will not have to participate in the planned health insurance exchanges for at least five years.
After five years, they still do not have to participate in the exchanges if they do not want to, while every other American must have a plan that conforms to the government’s rules, Fleming added.
“It’ll be at least five years after passage until a congressperson can – at least – opt in to the [government] system, and then it doesn’t force them to do that – it just allows them to do that,” Fleming told CNSNews.com.
Fleming, a physician, said that private insurance is not without its problems and he agrees that the market needs to be reformed, but he also said that a government-run health system would make the problems worse.
“Already, we’re in a tremendous bureaucracy, red tape like we’ve never seen before both for Medicare and Medicaid and for private insurance,” he said. “Private insurance uses Medicare as kind of a template for what it does, so even private insurance as it exists today has a lot of red tape and issues. It’s not as bad as the government system, and it can be improved.
“We definitely need reform,” said Fleming. “What we need to do is have insurance reform by bringing in younger people and giving them incentives to opt in to the system. We need to reform insurance laws and do away with pre-existing illness [limitations], which is keeping a lot of people out of coverage.
“We need to provide subsidies to those who have marginal incomes,” Fleming continued. “They need portability, they need to be able to buy the insurance directly without the employer, and it all needs to be tax-deductible.”