Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Who Pays for Health Insurance for Congress?

Dear Madame L,

Obviously so many Republicans in the House and Senate are trying to do away with Medicare and affordable health insurance for the rest of us to save money.

But what about their own health insurance? Are they covered? And, if so, who pays for it?


Find Another Way to Save Taxpayer Dollars

Dear Find Another Way,

Madame L is glad you asked. It turns out that Members of Congress have a much better health-care insurance plan than the rest of us, and guess who pays for it: the rest of us.

According to that website, "In April, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to cut Medicare and Medicaid. And even Democrats on the so-called Super Committee offered deep cuts to these vital programs.

    "Essentially, Republicans in Congress are telling senior citizens and the poor that tax cuts for billionaires and millionaires are more important than providing a health care safety net for our most vulnerable.

    "...But members of Congress get great taxpayer funded healthcare, fact, they get one of the best health care plans in the world.

    "It strikes us as the height of hypocrisy to be accepting government-provided, taxpayer-subsidized health insurance while denying seniors, the disabled and the poor the basic coverage that Medicare and Medicaid provide."


Madame L

1 comment:

AskTheGeologist said...

Tallyrand, called the "Prince of Diplomats" by his contemporaries, visited the new United States in the late 18th Century. He liked it. He said that this republic system seemed to work.

However, he made one prescient observation:

"It will work until people figure out how to vote themselves money."

Does that sound like Congress today? They MUST respond to the people paying for their every-two-years re-election efforts. News media tell us that more than half their time is consummed in raising these funds. Have you counted how many bills Congress passed this year? I think it was 15 - and 11 of those were renaming post offices after friends.

Who do you suppose pays for this 50%-of-the-time re-election effort?

Who do you suppose benefits from paying?

Rod Blagoivich, the former governor of Illinois, called it "Pay to Play."

Everyone knows that the US Tax Code is monstrous in size - mostly with special tax exemptions. This includes the National Football League (billions in profits every year) and uber-wealthy oil companies.

Who paid for those corporate benefits? YOU AND I.

It's actually a remarkably high-payout business plan: invest a few million in pliable congresspersons and get a multi-billion-dollar benefit. We're talking 20,000% returns here, not 4% returns on investment.


As far as the congressional health benefits go, think of the most expensive, Cadillac health plan you have ever heard of. It's better than that.

Think of how much you must pay into any health plan. Even a high-deductable plan (which ultimately benefits almot no one) with company-matching is very expensive costs as much as your monthly food budget - or more.

For Congress? Well, it's free. That also includes special treatment at Bethesda Naval Hospital, originally built to take care of injured sailors...