So the House has passed their beloved healthcare bill. More socialized medicine. $1.2 trillion. Now it goes to the Senate. If it passes and we become subject to government run health care anyone with half a brain knows what lies down the road: increased taxes, decreased Medicare, rationed healthcare doled out by someone who doesn’t know medicine from Marxism. Gone will be any modicum of quality of care because any doctor worth his salt will find another way to use his God-given talents. The cheering by those who believe this is the answer to the nation’s health woes will soon turn to questions, blank stares, and then anger when they realize they’ve been had once again. Of course, by then it will be too late and another one of our choices will have bitten the dust, mashed by another giant socialist footprint.
Think about this: a rough estimate of the number of protestors who marched on Washington DC on September 12th is 850,000. My husband was there; he should know. The number of people who participated in the tea parties all across our nation from the first whiff of Obamunism blowing in the wind is nearly impossible to estimate. The MSM was not interested in even acknowledging that they were taking place, and that they continue to take place, and will continue to take place until members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle realize just who employs them. The House passed socialized medicine despite an uprising of thousands of thinking citizens who saw the writing on the wall and despite a summer of town hall protests and despite the absence of any coherency in the so-called bill.
And who is bringing us the bill? A bill that will enhance the stranglehold on the American economy and American ideals and American freedom in every sector? Why, none other than the Marxist president and 536 members of a congress who already shoved that $787 billion stimulus bill down our throats in February. You remember the bill: the one that stimulated unemployment? Oops. Oh, yeah, it also stimulated John Murtha’s airport.
The same president and congress who took over the automobile and banking industries and are on the verge of doing a sleight of hand with the carbon tax. But we know all that, don’t we? We know how much they care for us and our wellbeing? Now let’s look at these people, who are employed by us, who sit in their hallowed halls, which are owned by us, pull in salaries paid by us, salaries which most of us could only dream of seeing in our entire lifetimes, with perks which are stolen from us. Let’s look at their health care benefits. With a wide range of choices and very reasonable premiums considering their salaries, they are set for life from the second they come on board until their dying gasp.
"Health Care for Members of Congress?
August 25, 2009
Q: What type of health insurance do members of Congress receive? Is it a single-payer, government-run system?
A: Members of Congress are covered by private insurance under the same system that covers all federal workers.
Members of Congress have good health insurance by any standard, but it’s not free and not reserved only for them – and it’s not government insurance. House and Senate members are allowed to purchase private health insurance offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which covers more than 8 million other federal employees, retirees and their families.
It’s not a "single-payer" system where the government acts as the one and only health insurance company. As President Bush’s chief of personnel Kay Coles James said in 2003, while lecturing at the conservative Heritage Foundation, "the FEHB program is not centralized, government-run health care." It has drawn praise both from conservatives and liberals, including President Obama, who held it up as a model for his own health care proposals.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the FEHBP offers about 300 different private health care plans, including five government-wide, fee-for-service plans and many regional health maintenance organization (HMO) plans, plus high-deductible, tax-advantaged plans. All plans cover hospital, surgical and physician services, and mental health services, prescription drugs and "catastrophic" coverage against very large medical expenses. There are no waiting periods for coverage when new employees are hired, and there are no exclusions for preexisting conditions. The FEHBP negotiates contracts annually with all insurance companies who wish to participate. There is plenty of competition for the business; FEHBP is the largest employer-sponsored health plan in the U.S.
Those who don’t like their coverage may switch to another plan during a yearly "open season" period. To help with the choices, FEHBP conducts an annual "satisfaction survey" of each plan with more than 500 members and publishes the results.
Like other large employers, the government pays a large share of the cost of coverage. On average, the government pays 72 percent of the premiums for its workers, up to a maximum of 75 percent depending on the policy chosen. For example, the popular Blue Cross and Blue Shield standard fee-for-service family plan carries a total premium of $1,120.47 per month, of which the beneficiary pays $356.59. Washington, D.C.-based employees who prefer an HMO option might choose the Kaiser standard family plan. It carries a total premium of $629.46 per month, of which the employee pays only $157.36.
In addition, members of Congress also qualify for some medical benefits that ordinary federal workers do not. They (but not their families) are eligible to receive limited medical services from the Office of the Attending Physician of the U.S. Capitol, after payment of an annual fee ($491in 2007). But services don’t include surgery, dental care or eyeglasses, and any prescriptions must be filled at the member’s expense.
House and Senate members (but not their families) also are eligible to receive care at military hospitals. For outpatient care, there is no charge at the Washington, D.C., area hospitals (Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center). Inpatient care is billed at rates set by the Department of Defense.
English, Barbara. "Health Benefits for Members of Congress." Congressional Research Service. 25 Sep 2007.
"Non-Postal Premium Rates for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; Fee-for-Service Plans (FFS)." Office of Personnel Management. rates for 2009. undated, accessed 24 Aug 2009.
"Non-Postal Premium Rates for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; Health Management Organizations (HMO)." Office of Personnel Management. rates for 2009. undated, accessed 24 Aug 2009.
Posted by Brooks Jackson on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 11:11 am
Filed under Ask FactCheck • Tagged with Congress, health insurance"
Why are these people so concerned about healthcare for the masses? Is it that they are really agonizing about all the pitiful uninsured, which are piling up in untreated heaps outside the emergency room doors? Do they really give a rip about the great unwashed who drag their infants and their grannies into clinics and get turned away in droves because they don’t have coverage? THEY COULDN’T CARE LESS! It’s about control. Only and always control. And we are circling the drain of the great and powerful toilet of totalitarianism. Wake up, folks. It’s almost too late. We need 2010 and we need it badly. And soon.
11 hours ago