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January 4th, 2011
10:17 AM ET

Rep. to forfeit benefits, sleep in office to protest healthcare reform

Republicans in the House could hold their first vote on the repeal of the President’s healthcare reforms by the end of this week. It probably won’t get too far, but there’s one freshman Representative who’s determined to stand up against those reforms.

His name is Joe Walsh, a Tea Party-backed Republican from Illinois who beat out Democrat Rep. Melissa Bean. Walsh plans to repeal the healthcare reform law and refuse his own health benefits in protest.

Today on American Morning, Jim Acosta talks to Walsh about why he’s going to the extreme of giving up his own benefits and how it would affect his wife, who has a pre-existing condition.

Filed under: GOP • Health care • Tea Party
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. 8th District Citizen

    I am sorry Congressmen, but refusing to take health coverage when a loved one needs it is just selfish. Put aside your own pride and accept the benifits that you and your fellow congressmen are entitled to.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  2. candice

    I just wanted to say that there are deeper roots to the problem of healthcare spending from each individual state more so than the country as a whole. Every day there are agencies contracted to provide care to the elderly and disabled, either physically and/or mentally, from The Department of Health Services (DHS). Yet the problem, especially in Michigan, is that there is no mandate or regulation to ensure that all of the hours of care the state assesses for each of those individuals, which is paid for with the tax payers money through Medicaid, is actually being provided by those agencies. These agencies are not only committing fraud against the state, they are taking advantage of people who are unable to take care of themselves, yet these agencies are still getting paid in full.
    There is such a high demand for people needing care, that just about anyone can sign up to be a provider, which the state pays $11.00 per hour for an individual provider, and $15.00 per hour if you get a business license and work as an agency. It costs $10.00 to get a business license and there is no prior healthcare experience required in order to become a provider.
    I know first hand of a company that has been doing this for over four years. They have been reported to the adult protection service agents at the DHS office, yet nothing has been done because of the overload of people needing care in Grand Traverse and Wexford Counties, and with only two adult protection service agents in the DHS office to handle this demand, they cannot even address the fraud that this company is continuing to commit.
    To make my point clear, say this company is being paid from the state to provide 15 hrs of care a week (60 hrs. a month) to an individual. This company has to give a Personal Care Service Provider Log, which is a basic itemized checklist of the care they provide; personal care, laundry, meal prep, etc., each month to the adult service agents (caseworkers) in order to receive their monthly check from the state (Medicaid). However, this company hires care givers, requiring them to get a business license so that they can be deemed a sub-contractor instead of an employee for tax purposes, but the company only sub-contracts to the care giver 10 hours a week of care to that individual.
    So not only is this company working within a loop hole as way of taxes, they are also only paying out 40 hrs. of care to the sub-contractor (care giver) at the same time receiving from the state the monthly check of 60 hrs. of care; pocketing 20 hrs. of care not being provided at $15.00 an hour, and this is just for one individual. This company has 8 individuals that they provide care for and has been committing this atrocity with all of them for years. This company pockets an average of $2,400 a month for care they claim to provide but actually do not! In a year this company pockets close to $28,800. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed now.

    January 6, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  3. Average American

    Repeal the corrupt ObamaCare and install a system that is fair and open for ALL Americans not just ghetto rats and illegal aliens. Get the insurance companies out of the health care system and stop Obama's kickbacks.

    January 5, 2011 at 6:12 am |
  4. Sue I

    Oh puuulleezze! Give me a break! First of all, for this freshman senator to have to "shop" for health insurance for his family is a JOKE! With his paycheck, it's not really a big deal. Try doing it on a fixed income with a pre-existing condition. Then come tell me what a sacrafice you are making. When you have to decide between paying either for health insurance (with out of pocket co-pays of $5,000) or your utility bill, talk to me.

    Senator Walsh (R-IL) is out of touch with the people who are truly in the position of having to buy health insurance and unable to afford it. The health care reform didn't help me other than the pre-exisiting condition clause which won't kick in for me until about 2014. So I'm neither a proponent or an opponent of it. I live on a fixed income, am not eligible for any public benefits and with medical issues that don't allow me to work. So I have to pay all my medical bills out of my income with no help.

    Sorry I can't feel anything for the stunt he is pulling other than disgust.

    January 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  5. GWC

    Nice job Joe..
    We pray for your strength.

    January 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm |