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Congress' Health Care

Health Care Benefits Available to Members of Congress


Summary

The members of Congress receive health care benefits.

1. Federal Employees' Health Benefits Program
        This FEHBP program is poor compared to Improved Medicare for All.
        We do NOT want the FEHBP health insurance program of private health insurance companies.
2. Local benefits: available only in Washington, D.C.
— On-Site Health Services at Washington, D.C.: Office of the Attending Physician (OAP)
— Health Services at Military Hospitals in Washington, D.C.
Comment: What we do want is for all Americans to have the
best health care for all system: Improved Medicare for All
.

Conclusion and Observation

Improved Medicare for All via single-payer health care will be better than what the members of Congress get via the FEHBP and the services provided via military hospitals, described below. Why? For many reasons, including that we will have more freedoms and no major medical bills. See our documented side-by-side comparison of the FEHBP and Improved Medicare for All, linked below.

The health care benefits that the members of Congress get will never be available to the general public, in part due to the restricted location (Washington, D.C.) of the "Additional Benefits", the 2nd and 3rd items in the above list, which are explained at "Additional Benefits", below.


Health Insurance Plan ... via the Federal Employees' Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)

Members of Congress pay premiums and out-of-pocket costs via the FEHBP. They can select a health insurance plan and pay their selected for-profit health insurance company, just like all federal employees who participate in the FEHBP, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

It's part of the complexity of the current U.S. health-care-NOT-for-all system.

The American taxpayer is the employer in the case of this government-based program. We the American taxpayers, as their employer, pay most of the cost of the premiums.
FEHBP is an unnecessary program within government bureaucracy.

The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the FEHBP, which is often described in terms like "well run". However, conceptually it is no different than anyone else in the United States who works for an employer, where the employer offers health insurance as a benefit.
Side-by-side comparision:
a comparison between the FEHBP and Improved Medicare for All.
Note: fewer and fewer employers are offering health insurance as a benefit. This is especially for people who retire. Americans who retire from major corporations are less and less likely to receive health insurance as a benefit. This trend of a disappearing health insurance benefit for retirees has been occurring for over twenty years.

Additional Benefits

An excellent ABC News article titled "Special Health Care for Congress: Lawmakers' Health Care Perks" is the basis for the following descriptions of special benefits available to the members of the U.S. Congress. The article by Jay Shaylor and Mark Abdelmalek was published by ABC News on September 30, 2009.

On-Site Health Services at Washington, D.C.: Office of the Attending Physician (OAP)

For a price per year (about $500), a fee that has not changed significantly for roughly twenty years, a member of Congress can get the services of the Office of Attending Physician. Members of Congress who don't pay the fee are rarely prevented from using the OAP services. The remaining cost of the care, beyond the $500, is paid for by taxpayers via the U.S. Navy budget.
"OAP provides members of Congress 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."

Health Services at Military Hospitals in Washington, D.C.:
        inpatient care and free outpatient care

House and Senate members ... (are also) eligible to receive care at military hospitals. For outpatient care, there is no charge at the Washington, D.C., area military hospitals (Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center). Inpatient care is billed at rates set by the Department of Defense.
Additional Information
About FEHBP  

A side-by-side comparison between the FEHBP and Improved Medicare for All.

About the additional benefits: Special Health Care for Congress.

Corrections to What Some Americans Believe

Posting of comments on the internet in July 2011 by American citizens at the "Rebuild the Dream" activity website ... and the associated corrections:

Incorrect comment:  "Sign every man, woman & child up for the same, Medicare style health plan enjoyed by our elected represetatives."
Correction: There is no Medicare style health plan for the U.S. Congress or any other elected representatives. They all get insurance via the FEHBP. See below.

Incorrect comment: "Eliminate Congress' healthcare system and cover them with the same system covering federal civil servants."
Correction: The U.S. Congress is already covered via the same system as federal civil servants: FEHPB. See below.


Know that Improved Medicare for All
is better than the federal employees' program
as seen in our side-by-side comparison.

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to help get
Improved Medicare for All. 

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