Thursday, October 1, 2009

Very High Double Standards

The Neighborhood is admittedly a small blog; we focus on one Congressional district that's spread out over bits & pieces of five different counties (not to mention three different media markets), "represented" in Washington, D.C. by Mike Rogers.

Well, the 'Hood got some national attention last week, when the story about insurance industry donations to Mr. Rogers was picked up by The Sunlight Foundation's "Local Sunlight" columnist.

OK, enough bragging.

Back here in the Mitten, the Lansing State Journal's Derek Melot has a nifty little blog post describing one of the sweet health care perks that Mr. Rogers receives courtesy of us taxpayers: The Office of the Attending Physician (OAP), a full-service health center.
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.
Earlier this year, the Neighborhood brought you the details of Mr. Rogers' health insurance plan -- also paid for with our tax dollars -- and compared it to the costs and benefits available to a Michigan family purchasing the cheapest MI BC/BS individual plan. It would be kind of funny if it weren't so unfair.

So between paying for his premiums with pretax dollars and having a personal physician on-call in the Capitol, you have to wonder how Mr. Rogers can keep a straight face when he rants about "socialist health care." As an adult, his health insurance coverage has been provided by taxpayers (U.S. Army, the FBI, the Michigan legislature and U.S. Congress). Given his early bout with bladder cancer, it would be instructive for him to go looking for individual coverage and see just what he would be shelling out for a basic plan...

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