Should Congress have better-less expensive benefits than other Federal Employees?
This very good information and question comes from BBN reader W.K. Walker of Texas:
There are 535 elected officials in Congress representing Americans who voted them into the House and Senate. They are focused on what is supposedly good for America, but they have a different set of rules for themselves.
The Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) provides members of Congress and the Supreme Court Justices with physicals and routine examinations, on-site X-rays and lab work, physical therapy and referrals to medical specialists from military hospitals and private medical practices. 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, as of 2009, members pay a flat, annual fee of $503 for all the care they receive. The rest of the cost of their care is paid for by federal funding, from the U.S. Navy budget. The annual fee has not changed significantly since 1992.
Last year, Congress appropriated more than $3 million to reimburse the Navy for staff salaries at the office. 2010 budget allocated $3.8 million for the office, including more than half a million dollars to upgrade the Office’s radiology suite. 2012 Budget is $3.4 million. Sources said additional money to operate the office is included in the Navy’s annual budget
Not all members of Congress take advantage of the $503 annual benefit…but most do use the OAP.
In 2009, The Los Angeles Times Reported, “Congress’ own healthcare benefits: membership has its privileges:”
Lawmakers can choose among several plans and get special treatment at federal medical facilities. In 2008, taxpayers spent about $15 billion to insure 8.5 million federal workers and their dependents.
Did you know this information about your elected officials in Washington? What are your thoughts?