Letter to the Editor: What Health Insurance Benefits Do Congress Members Receive?

Honorable Congressman Gallagher,

It was with great interest that I read in the Washington Post about the Republican caucus’s proposal for replacement and/or revision of the ACA. As I requested almost two months ago, I was interested in your views and positions on this issue. I appreciate, but was frustrated by the excuses you and your staff provided for not getting back to me with specific answers to my questions – problematic IT issues, the time-consuming inaugural activities and numerous constituent comments and requests – which responding to was what I had always believed was a primary function of a Congressman and his staff.

That said, the Republican plan, after nearly seven years of opposition to the ACA and between four- and five-dozen votes in the Republican-controlled house to repeal the ACA has been unveiled. Interesting.

When will the cost estimates come out? A proposal without accompanying cost projections is worthless. Your caucus has done nothing more than window dressing. President Trump tweeted – a dangerous activity – his support for this “great” proposal. The President campaigned upon a replacement that was “better and cheaper” than the current ACA. What use is a proposal without costing? Is the plan to wait on costing until after the 2018 election to protect members of your party? Or is it to use reconciliation because that would get you and President Trump through the 2020 election?

I ask that you please have your staff provide me, and through the media, a comparison between the Republican caucus proposal for replacement of the ACA and the health insurance coverage you and other members of Congress receive. You are a public servant working for your constitutions. Thus, your constituents are “employer.” You and other members of Congress set your own salaries and benefits. I would like to know, and think other members of your constituency would also be interested in, what benefits you receive compared to those who “employ” you.

I look forward to a specific response to my questions and would like to know if, and when, you will be providing such information to me and other constituents in your district.

Michael Sweeney

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.