Lawmaker calls for his own to pay part of insurance premium

Jan 31, 2013

The House Republican leader is renewing an effort requiring state lawmakers to pay for one-fifth of the cost of their state-provided health insurance. Brian Newberry calls the issue a matter of fairness.

Lawmakers at RI State House
Credit Catherine Welch
"How can we tell state workers you should pay more while we don't?"

Not all of the 113 members in the House and Senate accept state-provided healthcare as a benefit and some of those who do contribute in varying degrees toward the cost. Newberry says lawmakers should pay 20 percent of their premiums since state and municipal workers have been asked in recent years to pay more for their health insurance.  

"I’ve never been one to say that legislators should not get paid for their services, whether you pay them in the form of salary or health insurance or some combination of these isn’t the issue. To me, it’s a matter of perception. How can we tell state workers you should pay more while we don’t?"

Newberry says this is the fifth year he’s introduced a bill calling for lawmakers to pay one-fifth of their state-provided health insurance. He says there seems to be little appetite for passing the bill.

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