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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: October 16, 2019 02:45 PM
From: Representative Paul Schemel
To: All House members
Subject: Members' Health Insurance Benefits
Colleagues, please join me in sponsoring this legislation which would terminate health insurance benefits for legislators, and their families, after such time as a legislator leaves office. As a result of existing legal entitlements, this legislation would apply to legislators who are elected for the first time after enactment.

Currently, members of the House serving for a minimum of ten years, and members of the Senate serving for a minimum of eight years, and their qualifying family members, are eligible to continue their current health insurance program indefinitely after leaving the legislature. This is not a benefit for legislators, it is a benefit for former legislators, and places a financial burden on the Commonwealth long after a legislator has left his or her service.

In addition, the extension of this program places a legislator in a separate class from that of most of the constituents which he or she represents. Few Pennsylvanians have the security of lifetime healthcare insurance. A legislator can too easily lose touch with the experiences of ordinary Pennsylvanians when the security of legislative benefits so far exceeds that of the people which a legislator represents.

Finally, outsized benefits available only to elected officials feeds a growing cynicism among the public toward their government. By reducing the opportunities for self-benefit, legislators reduce both the temptation and appearance of self-interest. Pennsylvanians will have greater confidence in their government if they know that the officials who they elect to run it have less to personally gain.

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Introduced as HB2030