This week about 18,000 people -- including members of Congress, all their aides, presidential appointees and even the president and vice president -- stood to lose their employer-provided health insurance under a condition that Republicans proposed for averting a government shutdown. The Democratic-controlled Senate rejected the measure Monday night, an hour after the House passed it.
The government pays roughly three-fourths of federal workers' health insurance premiums. House Republicans would end that contribution by amending the Senate's temporary spending bill. For many federal employees, that would mean a pay cut of up to $11,000.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the GOP's proposal would save the government about $1 billion over a decade. "This is a matter of funding the government and providing fairness to the American people," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "Why wouldn't members of Congress vote for it?"
I guess the Senate thinks they are special and better than the American people.