Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) is once again saying his constituents don't deserve government handouts like the one he receives as a result of his job as a public official.
In a December memo, Kingston's campaign lauded the congressman for being the only Republican candidate to vote against taxpayer-funded insurance subsidies for members of Congress.
"Jack is the only candidate in this race that has voted to eliminate taxpayer-funded insurance subsidies for Members of Congress and their staffs," the memo read. "He has gone a step further a voted to require the President, Vice President, and their political appointees to purchase health care on the exchanges just like everyone else."
What the memo and the candidate don't mention is that Kingston, as a former Georgia state legislator, is guaranteed a break of roughly 75 percent on the cost of his health insurance for life, paid by Georgia taxpayers.
Former state lawmakers pay "approximately 25 percent of the cost" of their coverage, Georgia Department of Community Health spokeswoman Pamela Keene told the National Journal. "The rest is paid by the state."
Kingston spokesman Chris Crawford told the National Journal that the congressman is simply playing by the state's rules, even though he opposes federal subsidized health coverage.
"The State of Georgia health care plan is administered [in] Georgia. He has no vote on the rules of the plan and abides by those established by state lawmakers," Crawford wrote in an email to the Journal. "He chose to stay on the Georgia plan when he first came to Congress because he did not want any part of the Potomac lifestyle."
Kingston came under fire in January when he wanted low-income students to learn "there's no such thing as free lunch," suggesting they sweep cafeteria floors to earn their meals.
Savannah, Ga., TV station WSAV 3 pointed out in January that there is such a thing as free lunch for Kingston, who has expensed thousands of dollars worth of "meals for business purposes" during his time in office.
"Isn't this a free lunch?" a WSAV 3 reporter asked Kingston.
"This is what we need in America," Kingston responded. "We need workfare over welfare. I learned a lot when I was 14 and 15 years old doing chores inside and outside the household and as a result i grew up with a good work ethic. ... It's hard in today's society to have a discussion where you want to challenge the status quo because of the 'I gotcha' politics."