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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Should We End Health Insurance Coverage For Elected Officials?

Our highways, restaurants and airports function as well as they do because all of us — poor and rich alike — drive on the same roads, eat at the same establishments and fly on the same planes. Making our politicians and government officials mortal when it comes to health insurance is the only way to ensure a long-term, permanent fix to our current health care crisis. - Paul Zane Pilzer (2009)

A Democratic lawmaker in Nebraska (State Senator Jeremy Nordquist) has filed legislation that would end state health insurance benefits for the governor, statewide elected officials and members of the state legislature. The proposal is modeled after language in the Affordable Care Act that requires members of Congress and congressional staffers to purchase health insurance through an exchange.elected officials

According to the Huffington post, Nordquist said he believes that the Governor and other officials are out of touch with concerns of Nebraska residents.

"Too often we have policy makers who are isolated from the decision they are making."

"They set up one set of rules for themselves."

"Our current governor and future governors will have to get health care privately."

"If we allow them to get state health care they are isolated from the struggles of hard working Nebraska families."

According to the Journal Star, Nordquist also said:

“If the private health insurance market that we create through legislation is good enough for our constituents, it should be good enough for policymakers and elected officials.”

“By forcing policymakers to buy health insurance on the individual market, they may finally understand the challenges faced by so many Nebraska families, who struggle to find a health insurance plan that is both affordable and provides the kind of coverage they need.”

A Similar Bill in Utah

In February 2009, a similar bill was introduced in Utah to give each legislator an annual tax-free allowance to purchase his or her own personal health insurance, or to pay the cost of participating in their employer’s group plan, just as ordinary citizens do. The bill was never voted on.

Members of Congress and ACA

Members of Congress and their staffs will be required to buy through exchanges if they want coverage from the federal government. Other federal employees will continue to be covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP).

Should We End Health Insurance For Elected Officials?

What do you think?