Congress’s Very Own Socialized Medicine

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  another example of lack of accountability on the part of our elected officials.

Where are today’s statesmen (aside from Ron Paul) ?

Also, if you wonder why AIG made out so well, ask your elected representatives who brokers their own insurance.

Congress’s Very Own Socialized Medicine


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Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 09:36:03 AM PDT

Of course, Congress comes through for their own postcards and receptions and consultants. Because their consultants have gotten them this far. But you want to be really outraged?

How about their socialized medical program? This is beyond the fantastic health plan they all have, courtesy the American taxpayer, this is a perk they’ve kept largely secret through all this contentious debate about what Americans deserve for their healthcare. Via Matt,  look at what they’ve provided themselves, their very own socialized medicine.

Formally called the Office of the Attending Physician, the clinic ”” and at least six satellite offices ”” 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….

Sources said when specialists are needed, they are brought to the Capitol, often at no charge to members of Congress….

Members of Congress do not pay for the individual services they receive at the OAP, nor do they submit claims through their federal employee health insurance policies. Instead, members pay a flat, annual fee of $503 for all the care they receive. The rest of the cost of their care, sources said, is subsidized by taxpayers.

Last year, Congress appropriated more than $3 million to reimburse the Navy for staff salaries at the office. Next year’s budget allocates $3.8 million for the office, including more than half a million dollars to upgrade the Office’s radiology suite. Sources said additional money to operate the office is included in the Navy’s annual budget.

In 2008, 240 members paid the annual fee, though some sources say congressmen who didn’t pay the fee were rarely prevented from using OAP services.

As Matt points out, Congress has set up for itself a socialized health program, “health care that’s not only financed by the state but directly provided by government employees.” That’s no different from the U.K.’s NHS.

No need for submitting claims, for fighting over pre-existing conditions, to shell out thousands of dollars and pray that some pencil pusher employed by your ensurer decideds to approve your claim. Just an apparently optional $500 annual fee for the very best care, including the country’s finest specialists. Nice perk, if you can get it.

And they’re deciding what healthcare you deserve.

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