By Jason Millman - 01/04/11 05:42 PM EST
Over the past few months, the liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change launched a campaign to pressure incoming GOP members to drop health coverage available to them through Congress. The group criticized incoming Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), who announced he would drop congressional health coverage, for keeping his military health plan.
Liberals pounced on Rep.-elect Andy Harris in November after the Maryland Republican questioned why it took a month to start receiving congressional health benefits. Healthcare reform supporters called him a hypocrite for demanding government insurance benefits, but Harris said he was pointing out the inefficiency of government-run healthcare.
Walsh refused to criticize other Republicans who are keeping their congressional health insurance.
"This is my decision," he said. "I believe there are a couple other freshmen that feel the same way. I just feel we were sent – I feel I was sent to Washington to be something different."
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) praised Walsh's decision and called on other Republicans to drop their congressional insurance.
"I don't agree with his views on health care, but at least he is being fair and consistent," Schumer said Tuesday, according to comments circulated by his office.
Walsh said he is opposed to “virtually the entire bill,” calling it a job-killer.
“Republicans very quietly and very seriously want to set about the task of putting Americans back to work,” he said. “One of the first strong signals we can send is repealing Obamacare.”
Meanwhile, House Democratic leaders on Tuesday portrayed efforts to repeal the healthcare reform law as a distraction from growing jobs and the economy.