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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Do members of Congress get the same health insurance as rank-and-file federal employees?



U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland got a bit of national attention last week after a Tallahassee Democrat story quoted him as saying his salary and benefits are "not that much" when considering the hours he puts in at the House and how he had to give up his paycheck from the family funeral home business.

"And by the way, did I mention? They're shooting at us. There is law-enforcement security in this room right now, and why is that?" he said. "If you think this job pays too much, with those kinds of risks and cutting me off from my family's business, I'll just tell you: This job doesn't mean that much to me. I had a good life in Panama City."

The forum with Tallahassee retirees turned to Southerland's own health insurance plan.

"The health insurance plan that I have is no different than any other federal employee's in the United States government," said Southerland. "I pay my portion."

Oh, really? See how his claim fared on the Truth-O-Meter.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 5:14pm]


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