Less than 3 percent of U.S. federal workers want to give up their current health plans and join Obamacare, according to a new poll.
92.3 percent of federal workers think that they should continue with their current health insurance program, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), while just 2.8 percent think they should be required to join Obamacare exchanges and 4.9 percent are not sure, according to an August survey conducted by FedSmith.com, a website for federal employees.
“There is apparently little debate among the federal workforce. Federal employees do not want to be part of the new system… Employees who are already retired have a much stronger negative reaction to being moved to a new system,” FedSmith.com noted.
Though congressmen and congressional staffers have to enroll in Obamacare exchanges, most federal employees insured under FEHBP will not be forced to switch to Obamacare exchanges when the law is fully implemented in 2014. But a recent proposed bill by Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Camp to force federal workers out of FEHBP and into Obamacare generated a lot of concern among federal workers.
As The Daily Caller reported, employees of the scandal-plagued Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are particularly frightened.
“I am a federal employee and one of your constituents. I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” according to a form letter drafted by leaders of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which represents IRS employees, intended for members to send to their congressmen.
“Last week your employees, who are members of the National Treasury Employees Union, sent a form letter for union members to send in to ask they be exempt from the exchanges. Why are your employees trying to exempt themselves from the very law that you’re tasked to enforce?” Republican Rep. Sam Johnson asked acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel in congressional testimony earlier this month.
“I think [Obamacare] was designed to provide an option, or an alternative for people who don’t [have affordable health insurance],” Werfel said, noting that federal employees are already covered under FEHBP. “I think if you’re an individual who’s satisfied with your health care coverage, you’re probably in a better position to stick with that coverage than go through the change of moving into a different environment and going through that process.”