(Fair Lawn, NJ) – New Jersey’s chutzpah meter is working overtime for its elected officials. Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) is embroiled in Bridgegate, a scandal of his own making. And now, just when it seems the moral authority of rhyme and reason has Republicans on the ropes, a Democrat is now giving Christie some competition.
A Fair Lawn councilwoman is upset about the possibility of losing her taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. In 2013, Councilwoman Lisa Swain (D-NJ) paid $355 in medical fees. The balance – $23,353 – was picked up by taxpayers.
Fair Lawn’s mayor would like to do away with these payments, but Swain claims that John Cosgrove (R-NJ) simply wants to rescind the payments for political purposes.
“Councilwoman Swain points out that average, ordinary, everyday Americans living in Fair Lawn just don’t know exactly what it takes to be a member of the council,” said a Swain spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Citizens need to be financially stable – not to mention mentally stable – in order to run, and that’s why paid health care amounting to tens of thousands of dollars is so important. If you’re not financially stable, and you’re nuts, how can you be expected to run for office?”
“We simply can’t continue to afford it,” said a spokesman for Mayor Cosgrove, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We have volunteers helping out and risking their lives – firemen, dog catchers, gum-scrapers – and they don’t get paid health care from Fair Lawn. And neither should any member of the council. If Obamacare is good enough for citizens, it should be good enough for elected officials, too. Of course, Mayor Cosgrove will be keeping his taxpayer-subsidized health insurance.”
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which administers the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare), has opened an investigation into the dispute. “We want to see why either a health exchange or Medicare or Medicaid wouldn’t work for Councilwoman Swain,” said a DHHS spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Taxpayers are already paying for the ACA, so there’s no reason why they should have to foot an additional $23,000 bill. That’s called double-billing in our book, and that’s just wrong.”
“It’s just not fair,” countered another Swain spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Councilwoman Swain has a host of medical conditions – acne, asthma, back pain, bursitis, cellulitis, chickenpox, dermatitis, diarrhea, gonorrhea, gum disease, head lice, hemorrhoids, kidney stones, laryngitis, lupus, Lyme disease, mumps, rabies, rubella, seizures, shingles, sinusitis, and occasional yeast infections – and she depends on the taxpayer-subsidized health insurance to keep on serving the average, ordinary, everyday Americans living in Fair Lawn. If Cosgrove is successful, we might as well call the town ‘Unfair Lawn’ instead.”