Washington (CNN) - As House Republicans prepare to introduce a repeal of the health care reform bill, one new GOP congressman said he is standing by his pledge to forgo federal health insurance despite a potentially expensive personal impact.
Rep.-elect Joe Walsh, R-Illinois, told CNN's Jim Acosta that he and his wife will not accept the insurance offered to members of Congress because he made a pledge during the campaign last January.
"My wife and I are going to struggle a little bit because of it. But I was sent to Washington to do what I said I was going to do," Walsh said in an interview on American Morning.
"I don't want to burden the American taxpayer with my health care bill. The federal government is my employer. Right now, the health care system has a real bias against folks who need to shop out there in the individual market," Walsh said.
The Illinois Republican's wife has a preexisting condition that Walsh said will make finding insurance difficult.
"My wife and I now are going to have to go through the struggles that a lot of Americans go through, trying to find insurance in the individual market and having to deal with problems of preexisting conditions."
The health care reform bill that passed last year includes a provision that will be phased in barring insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions, but Walsh said he nonetheless opposes "virtually the entire bill."
Walsh said what's needed is "a change in mindset."
"We just don't want to get into a system where people can purchase insurance and then drop insurance whenever they want to. That's not - that's not going to help the system at all."
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