Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pimp My Health Care Plan

Members of Congress would have you believe their health care plan is "pretty good." Nothing to complain about, but nothing to write home to mother about either. "It's the same Federal Employees Health Benefits Program that postal workers and airport security screeners get," they argue. "It's adequate, but certainly not gold-plated."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, turned down the congressional coverage. "I'm on the New York City plan because my wife is a New York City employee, and it's actually better," Schumer said.

Hmm...that puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

Don't be fooled. The health care plan afforded to members of Congress has been totally pimped out:

This fall while members of Congress toil in the U.S. Capitol, working to decide how or even whether to reform the country's health care system, one floor below them an elaborate Navy medical clinic described by those who have seen it as something akin to a modern community hospital will be standing by, on-call and ready to provide Congress with some of the country's best and most efficient government-run health care.

Formally called the Office of the Attending Physician, the clinic and at least six satellite offices it supports bills its mission as one of emergency preparedness and public health. Each day, it stands ready to handle medical emergencies, biological attacks and the occasional fainting tourist visiting Capitol Hill.

Officially, the office acknowledges these types of services, including providing physicals to Capitol police officers and offering flu shots to congressional staffers. But what is rarely discussed outside the halls of Congress is the office's other role providing a wealth of primary care medical services to senators, representatives and Supreme Court justices.

Here's a little taste of their "pretty good" health care deal:

  • Members of Congress pay a flat, annual fee of $503 for all the care they receive at the OAP. (The fee has not changed significantly in 17 years.)
  • Members do not pay for the individual services they receive at the OAP, nor do they submit claims through their federal employee health insurance policies.
  • Services offered by the Office of the Attending Physician include physicals and routine examinations, on-site X-rays and lab work and physical therapy.
  • The office is staffed by at least four Navy doctors as well as at least a dozen medical and X-ray technicians, nurses and a pharmacist.
  • When specialists are needed, they are brought to the Capitol, at no charge to members of Congress.
  • There is a culture centered on meeting the needs and whims of members of Congress, with almost no concern for cost.
  • Physicians and nurses "will see you on the spot, on the beck and call."

It's no wonder our benevolent overlords in Congress seem to be hopelessly out of touch with regard to health care they live in an ivory tower.


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DaBlade said...

Harry Reid may cancel the October recess, but it looks like Halloween every time these democrats get in the same room.

commoncents said...

Great post! I really like your blog!!

ps. Link Exchange?

RaDena said...

I listen to Rush Limbaugh every day, RK. :)

Stopped by by way of Watcher. You've got this health care idiocy down really well. Wish everyone out their understood it as well as you do.

Anonymous said...

Klik, you are providing a public service with this blog. Thanks for being here with your energy and knowledge.

RightKlik said...

DaBlade: Permanent Halloween with Obama in charge.

RaDena: Thank you, and thanks for stopping by.

NG: Thank you. Just hoping to make a small contribution to the effort to push the pendulum back to the right.