Sunday, January 09, 2011
Congressional Millionaires Get Government Healthcare Paid For By Taxpayers
However, only about 1 percent of the overall US population qualify as millionaires.
The median wealth of a representative was $765,010, while that of a senator was almost $2.38 million.
And, even during a deep recession, the collective personal wealth of congressional members increased by more than 16 percent between 2008 and 2009.
In contrast, U.S. median household income dropped 3 percent to $50,221 between 2008 and 2009, the second straight decline, according to the Census Bureau.
These findings were detailed in a report by the Center for Responsive Politics back in November.
The study also indicated that a significant portion of Congress owned shares of major players in the health-care and financial-services sectors, which were the subject of major reform legislation during the period.
Meanwhile, this body of millionaires, who all get government-sponsored health care — which many of them vigorously oppose — have decided that their first act in the new term will be to vote to repeal the health care reform that gives affordable care to 32 million Americans.
According to the Office of Personnel Management, the federal government pays 69 percent of the health care premiums for members of Congress.
This isn't an argument in favor of the health care law, which is riddled with problems; the bill is 2,400 pages long and was written by/with the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.
But it is quite ironic that politicians who have derided the health care law as 'socialist', or 'fascist', or any number of derogatory names, see this system as perfectly acceptable for themselves.
So, government-sponsored health care is good enough for the millionaires in Congress, but not for anyone else. Got that?
With this in mind, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling on his colleagues to give up their government-sponsored health care.
"It was a central value to us when we passed health care, and a central value to the American people, that members of Congress should get the same health care as everyone else. It seems unfair that house Republicans want to deprive middle-class Americans of the same health care as members of Congress but to keep it for themselves."
While this may be viewed as grandstanding by Schumer, the simple fact is... he's right.