QUERY : Would you be willing to pay an annual fee of $503 for physicals and routine examinations, on-site X-rays and lab work, physical therapy and referrals to medical specialists. When specialists are needed, they are brought to you, often at no charge ? As you ponder that question, consider that the fee has not significantly changed since 1992 ?
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-08) offered some interesting observations in his initial address to the 112th Congress :
“The American people have humbled us.”
“After all, this is the people’s House. This is their Congress. It’s about them, not us.”
“We will part with some of the rituals that have come to characterize this institution under majorities Republican and Democratic alike.”
Mr. Boehner is correct … it’s time to look at the institution and how it is spending OUR TAXPAYER MONEY on themselves.
In previous commentaries, excessive printing costs has been question as is the need for paid religious programs, now it’s time to look at healthcare.
After all, the Republicans have are collecting co-sponsors for : H.R. 2 To repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
What will happen if that is repealed … well, that’s will be costly for the country but will have no impact on Members of Congress’ personal health coverage … ‘cause Members of Congress have funded the OFFICE OF THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN.
For medical supplies, equipment, and contingent expenses of the emergency rooms, and for the Attending Physician and his assistants, including: (1) an allowance of $2,175 per month to the Attending Physician; (2) an allowance of $1,300 per month to the Senior Medical Officer; (3) an allowance of $725 per month each to three medical officers while on duty in the Office of the Attending Physician; (4) an allowance of $725 per month to two assistants and $580 per month each not to exceed 11 assistants on the basis heretofore provided for such assistants; and (5) $2,366,000 for reimbursement to the Department of the Navy for expenses incurred for staff and equipment assigned to the Office of the Attending Physician, which shall be advanced and credited to the applicable appropriation or appropriations from which such salaries, allowances, and other expenses are payable and shall be available for all the purposes thereof, $3,805,000, to be disbursed by the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives.
The Office of the Attending Physician serves a need … as many responsible businesses provide for their employees … but most have raised the employee portion.
In 1992, the salary for a member of Congress was $129,500 … today the salary is $174,000 but the fee for OAP services has not substantially changed.
With Congress is spending over $3.8 Million of TAXPAYER money to maintain their healthcare, they need to be fixing their own House before changing the healthcare legislation.
Regarding H. R. 2, the news is not good for the deficit, coverage or the consumer.
The Congressional Budget Office reports
— Although premiums in the individual market would be lower, on average, under H.R. 2 than under current law, many people would end up paying more for health insurance—because under current law, the majority of enrollees purchasing coverage in that market would receive subsidies via the insurance exchanges, and H.R. 2 would eliminate those subsidies.
— Premiums for employment-based coverage obtained through large employers would be slightly higher under H.R. 2 than under current law.
— Under H.R. 2, about 32 million fewer nonelderly people would have health insurance in 2019, leaving a total of about 54 million nonelderly people uninsured.
— As a result of changes in direct spending and revenues, CBO expects that enacting H.R. 2 would probably increase federal budget deficits through 2021 in the vicinity of $230 billion, plus or minus the effects of technical and economic changes.
Congress may have a tough time reconciling what to do in the private market, but it should immediately address what it is asking its members to pay for their healthcare.