Dem Complains About Her Taxpayer-Subsidized Obamacare Plan

Rep. Axne: 'You really don’t want what I have, because I don’t get good insurance'

August 26, 2019

A congressional Democrat is unhappy with the taxpayer-subsidized health insurance she receives from Obamacare. 

A constituent asked Rep. Cynthia Axne (D., Iowa) why citizens cannot receive the same health insurance as members of Congress. The freshman Democrat responded by saying she was not satisfied with her Obamacare plan.

"There's a lot of talk about health care reform and our national health care system. Why do we not just get what you get and go on with life?" the constituent asked at an event in Mount Ayr, Iowa, on Saturday. 

"First and foremost, you really don’t want what I have, because I don’t get good insurance," Axne said. "It's okay insurance. Just so you know, congresspeople, we have to purchase from the ACA [Affordable Care Act], we purchase from the network."

Axne told the crowd that her insurance benefits were inferior to those enjoyed by congressional staffers.

"My staff’s insurance is way better than mine," Axne said. "So I would want better insurance quite honestly for people than what I have."

Members of Congress are legally required to subscribe to a gold-tier health insurance plan on the exchanges enacted by Obamacare. The federal government provides a subsidy for members of Congress that covers about 75 percent of the premiums. In addition, members can pay an annual fee to receive medical care—such as routine exams and consultations—from the attending physician in the U.S. Capitol building. Congressmen can also receive free emergency medical and dental care at military treatment facilities in the Washington, D.C., area. This benefit, however, does not apply to staff or family members.

Axne added that she would like to see a public option available to people without health insurance, while allowing people who have private coverage to keep it. This is similar to presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden's health care plan. A growing number of Democratic voters and candidates have pushed for "Medicare for all," in which private insurance would be nearly abolished. 

Axne did not return request for comment.