Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: Impeach+Bush+Cheney: (Plus) I want Congressional Health Care Coverage+ Throw them all out in 2008

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Impeach+Bush+Cheney: (Plus) I want Congressional Health Care Coverage+ Throw them all out in 2008

Congressional Health Care Benefits, the Rolls Royce of Health Plans?

We Really treat our dysfunctional, lying, lobby looting, oath ignoring, lying, double crossing, free loading S.O.B.s, who won’t impeach, won’t act on our behalf (used to known as responsible representation), who go around spouting some bullshit about universal health care coverage when all they have to do is offer the rest of America what they enjoy…at our expense for doing damn little right, AND…there are still some of you contemplating voting for the bastards again!

Just read this and follow the links…then vomit!

In an excerpt from his new book, Practicing Medicine Without a License, Don Sloan, M.D., shows that members of Congress enjoy health coverage with unlimited doctor visits, no deductibles and no co-pays -- all for $35 a month.

So what about the rest of us?

"It's really hypocritical for members to say, 'This plan is OK for us and federal employees but not for the rest of the country.'"

Why not scrap Medicare in favor of something better? I refer to the cost-effective health plan enjoyed by all of Congress. I understand it includes prescription drugs. I've asked my Congressman, Joe Hoeffel (D-PA) to spell out what's in his health plan, what he pays and how it is funded. He has ignored my requests. I've heard it referred to as the Rolls Royce health care plan. This seems like a good idea for everybody instead of trying to fix the damn-near broke Medicare.-T.M, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Members of Congress enjoy excellent health benefits under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). For 2002, Representative Hoeffel could choose from 11 different health care plans under FEHBP. All plans offer prescription drug benefits.

The government (meaning taxpayers like you and me) pays 72% of the average premium but not more than 75%. Your Congressman saw the remaining 25% deducted from his $12,500 monthly paycheck (also paid for by you and me). This is similar to the amount the government pays under Medicare. Under Medicare, the government pays 75% of the Part B premium and the other 25% monthly premium is deducted from your Social Security check (which is much, much less than $12,500 per month).

Among the 11 health plans, the federal employee share of monthly premiums ranges from a low of $55.58 per month to a high of $354.08 per month. These premiums compare with Medicare Part A hospital insurance and Medicare Part B doctors' and outpatient services. But, they also include prescription drug coverage. Medicare Part B premiums in 2002 are $54 per month. Most Medicare beneficiaries pay nothing for Medicare Part A, but most supplement Medicare, and pay additional premiums for Medigap policies.

The Medicare deductibles in 2002 are $812 for Part A and $100 for Part B. FEHBP deductibles range from nothing for hospital stays to $500. Doctor and outpatient services deductibles range from none to $500. Prescription drug deductibles range from none to $600. The plan with the lowest combination of deductibles is $250; the plan with the highest is $1,150.

There is no Medicare Part A hospital co-insurance for the first 60 days. After that Medicare beneficiaries pay $203 per day for the 61st to 90th day in each period and $406 a day for the 91st to 150th day. Hospital inpatient co-insurance in FEHBP ranges from nothing to 35%. Medicare Part B coinsurance is generally about 20%. Under FEHBP the coinsurance ranges from 10% to as much as 35%.

FEHBP drug insurance co-insurance varies depending upon whether the prescription is generic, brand name or a non-formulary drug. Copayments start as low as $5 but co-insurance can be as high as 50% depending on the plan and the type of drug.

In 2000, the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare ended with no agreement on a proposal to reform Medicare along lines similar to the FEHBP plans. The so-called "premium support" model would essentially privatize Medicare leaving the government in the role of negotiating contracts with participating health plans as they do for the FEHBP plans. Senator John Breaux (D-LA) introduced legislation in 2001 to reform Medicare along these lines but it remains in committee.

Even under such a system, the biggest problem for Medicare remains the financing. FEHBP plans aren't necessarily that much more cost-efficient. FEHBP costs are rising by double-digit rates as well. Premiums rose in 2001 by an average of 13.3%. The Blue Cross standard option, popular with many retirees, rose by 20% for individual coverage. This increase was on top of a 2000 average increase of 10.5% and an increase of 21.2% in Blue Cross standard option.

No matter which system, with increasing numbers of persons becoming eligible and health care costs continuing to climb, Medicare remains as you say, "damn-near broke."

To read more about the FEHBP, you can download a free copy of the 2002 Federal Employees Health Benefits guides for working employees as well as retirees online at If you do not have internet access, ask your library for help.

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November 15, 2007 - 1:47am
Part IX: Health Insurance

Mark Segraves, WTOP RadioDave McConnell, WTOP Radio

WASHINGTON - Do you have health insurance? Millions of Americans live without it while members of Congress have just about the best health plans available.

Members of Congress and all federal employees can pick and choose from nearly 300 different health plans.

"The health benefits that members of Congress get are pretty good ones, but they're not better or less costly than an average, large employer would provide," says Norm Ornstein, a a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

But Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, disagrees.

He says employees in the private sector don't get the health plan choices that federal employees get.

"Premiums are lower because of the competition. Every one of the them would contain prescription drug coverage, and the employees do contribute but the the amount they contribute would be less than an average employee in the private sector."

According to the Government Accountability Office, taxpayers pick up about 70 percent of the cost of the health coverage, making the average monthly premium per individual about $120.

Schatz says members of Congress could give similar health care to the rest of the country.

"It's really hypocritical for members to say, 'This plan is OK for us and federal employees but not for the rest of the country.'"

(Copyright 2007 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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