350K Sign Petition to Nix Health Subsidies for Congress
Daniel Jimenez says politicians should have same offerings as American people
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2017 8:47 AM CDT
House Speaker Paul Ryan, center, standing with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, right, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, speaks during a news conference on the American...   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – What's good for the goose should be good for the governmental gander. That's the position of Daniel Jimenez, a 30-year-old from Portland, Ore., who thinks that in the wake of the GOP's recently introduced American Health Care Act, members of Congress should have to pick from the same health-care offerings as other Americans, reports the Oregonian. Specifically, per the Change.org petition Jimenez started, that means congressional members and their dependents would lose any health care subsidies, especially if they go back to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, a pre-ObamaCare offering of inexpensive private health plans (after the Affordable Care Act passed, they were required to get coverage through an ACA-created plan or exchange).

Jimenez says in his petition, which now has more than 350,000 signatures, that some politicians have no concept of the health care expenses shouldered by most Americans, mainly because they've gotten used to cushy government health benefits. "If private health care is good for the American citizen, it should also be good for the people that defend it," he writes. The driving force behind Jimenez's petition: his father's death from cancer. His dad didn't have coverage through his job, and so he put off seeing a doctor when he became sick. As the GOP and President Trump try to finalize their new health plan, Jimenez, who now lives in New Mexico, says he thinks of his father and "whether he would have made it if he had early access to cost-effective health care." (HHS Secretary Tom Price and Speaker Paul Ryan are both optimistic about the AHCA.)

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