Congressman-elect Joe Walsh made something of a splash last year when he announced he would forgo any government health care even though his wife has a preexisting condition. Today on CNN's American Morning, Walsh stood by those remarks, saying his principles forced the sacrifice.
“My wife and I are going to struggle because of it,” said the Illinois Republican. “But I was sent to Washington to do what I said I was going to do, and this was a pledge I had out there for a year.”
It will be difficult for his wife to get individual insurance with a preexisting condition, but Walsh says he doesn’t want to “burden the American taxpayer” with her health care bills.
“I feel I was sent to Washington to be something different,” he said. “I think that folks out there are tired of people from both parties who for too long haven’t experienced what most Americans go through. We tend to pass laws that impact most of us but not members of Congress.”
The Democrats' health care law outlaws discrimination based on preexisting conditions (a change not yet fully phased in). But Walsh said that he opposes “virtually the entire bill” and that it’s a “job killer” for small businesses, which “are scared to death of the cost, and they don’t even know the full cost of Obamacare.”
Walsh said the upcoming House vote to repeal the health care law is important because it’s “a big part of why we were sent to Washington.” Even if the repeal passes the House, it will be largely symbolic as it has virtually no chance of making its way through the Senate or past the veto power of President Obama.