“I have a niece who has pre-existing conditions, and I worry about her if she was ever to lose her job,” said Florida Rep. Richard Nugent, one of the freshman lawmakers who declined federal health insurance benefits. #

Some in the GOP have offered up a host of excuses for accepting taxpayer-subsidized health care. Following his swearing-in last month, Rep. Michael Grimm of New York explained his rationale to the New York Daily News: #

“What am I, not supposed to have health care?” he said. “It’s practicality. I’m not going to become a burden for the state because I don’t have health care, and God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation. That can happen to anyone.” #

His comments prompted a quick response from Democrats: #

“It’s clear that Rep. Michael Grimm is the worst kind of hypocrite – one who protects health care for himself instead of his constituents,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Jesse Ferguson. “Rep. Grimm has become the latest Republican health care hypocrite to demand government-funded health care benefits for himself, while trying to repeal health care reform and make it harder for most Americans to afford coverage for their own families.” #

Florida Rep. Bill Posey, another Republican sticking to the repeal mantra while enjoying state-sponsored health care, recently questioned his status as a federal employee in an attempt to sidestep the issue: #

ThinkProgress recently spoke with Posey, who gained notoriety in 2009 for sponsoring the original “birther bill” in Congress. We asked the congressmen if he plans to turn down government-subsidized health insurance for himself in light of his push to repeal health care reform. His response: “I don’t know. Am I a federal employee?” #


ThinkProgress followed up with Rep. Posey’s press secretary George Cecala. Mr. Cecala confirmed for us that Congressman Posey is, indeed, a federal employee. In addition, despite Posey’s attempts to evade the question, Mr. Cecala told us that the Florida Republican does accept government-subsidized and managed health care and has done so for his entire congressional career. When asked how the congressman would respond to the hypocrisy angle, Mr. Cecala told us “you can’t just single out members of Congress and then just ignore other federal employees who receive the same benefits.” #

Speaking to that issue, on Tuesday, a coalition of progressive groups released radio spots targeting a handful of congressional Republicans, including Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Oviedo. #


House Energy and Commerce Report on Repealing Health Care Law in Florida’s 24th Congressional District #

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