Palmetto Scoop: Wilson to sponsor public option bill for members of Congress

Nov 10, 2009

Wilson to sponsor public option bill for members of Congress
By Adam Fogle | November 4th, 2009 | 13 comments


If Congress decides to impose a government-run health care plan on Americans, then members of Congress will have to give up their cushy health care, under an amendment to be introduced by Congressman Joe Wilson.

The South Carolina Congressman who became a household name after yelling “you lie” at President Barack Obama during a health care speech in September, joined with Congressional colleagues to Wednesday to announce the legislation.

“If [U.S. House] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi insists on shoving this bill through, then I believe that Members of Congress should go onto the government-run option,” Wilson said. “If it is good enough for the American people, then it is certainly good enough for Congress.”

Fellow Reps. John Fleming(R-La.), Wally Herger (R-Calif.), Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), and Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined Wilson in making the announcement.

Pelosi’ plan includes a “robust” public option that would not only kill private health care, but would heavily penalize more rural areas like South Carolina.

Fellow South Carolina lawmaker Sen. Lindsey Graham has also been a strong proponent of enrolling all members of Congress in the government-run option if one is passed as part of a health care reform bill.

“If we pass a law that says a public option will be made available, I think people like myself should get out of this plan and go into the public option,” Graham told CBS News last month.

Currently, members of Congress can choose from five different cushy, lifetime healthcare plans that offer everything from in-office, 24-hour physicians to no pre-existing condition disqualifications for receiving coverage. And they pay nearly the same premium as most Americans, despite earning more than three times the medium household income.

Wilson will be on the FOX News Channel at 4 p.m. Wednesday with host Neil Cavuto to discuss the amendment.