The Democrat who’s running for congress in the fifth congressional district does not have health care insurance. Matt Campbell of Manning left his job as a tax attorney to challenge Republican Congressman Steve King this November.
“I will let people know that I did have health insurance until I got into the race and, frankly, being a healthy individual, (I) was not as pressed to get it, but I actually am in the process of getting the health insurance through the new temporary pool that’s been authorized by the administration and by congress,” Campbell says. “This is something that has been underutilized thus far in Iowa and I think my applying for the insurance through that pool will help raise addition attention of its availability.”
Marinnette Miller-Meeks, the Republican candidate in Iowa’s second congressional district, lost her health care coverage this summer when her husband lost his job. She has since purchased a plan that provides coverage for “catastrophic” events.
The health care reform plan President Obama signed into law this spring would impose a fine on Americans who fail to get health care coverage. That fine goes into effect in 2014. According to Campbell, his own situation is an example of why that fine is needed.
“I think it drives home the point that there should be a fine for folks…like myself that don’t have health insurance,” Campbell says. “I was pressed in a Des Moines Register interview about that, and they said: ‘Well, wouldn’t the taxpayer have to foot the bill if you got sick and you couldn’t pay for it?'” And I said: Well, that’s a good point. Shouldn’t I pay a fine then…if I were not to pay for health insurance?'”
Campbell’s opponent, Congressman King, has been calling for a total repeal of what he calls “ObamaCare.” Campbell, while he supports the legislation in general, would vote to get rid of one key section — the 20 percent tax on so-called “Cadillac” health care plans.
“They’re very generous health insurance plans that some employees have received. At times, individuals would negotiate away compensation benefits and they would take, in return, a very good health insurance plan and for themselves, they would make that rationalization that it made sense to them to do so because of the benefits,” Campbell says. “I think it’s somewhat unfair to tax those individuals.”
Campbell, though, would keep the 20 percent excise tax in place for “white collar executives” who make millions of dollars annually and only remove the tax from whast he terms “working class people” who have ultra-expensive health care benefits.
Campbell made his comments during an appearance on “Iowa Press” on Iowa Public Television. His opponent, Congressman King, declined an invitation to appear on the program.