Throughout the entire health care debate it has been incredibly ironic that Congress seems to be forgetting that all citizens are considered equal under the law in the United States and that certain perks that they reward themselves with in terms of enhanced health care options ought to be extended to all citizens. Either that, or Congress itself should dispense with the perks and find their health care in the public market place like the rest of us. From time to time the term elitism gets thrown around in the political discourse, well this is actually a real example of elitism out of control, and elitism beyond any moral standard.
Where in our Constitution does it say that we, the citizens, through our tax contributions will pay for enhanced medical care for our members of Congress, which they will embrace and utilize to the fullest extent, while concurrently with holding access to the same level of accessible health care to all other citizens? Is this what the founders of our country had in mind, an elite governing class that would by virtue of their government health plan receive access to health care that is denied to most Americans? Are we all, who are not in government, just commoners?
Dave Gilson of Mother Jones sums it up in the following item titled “The Real Public Option: Congress’ Private Medical Clinic”:
You can’t say this enough: While members of Congress are busy protecting us from the inefficiency and danger of government-run health care, they’re receiving top-notch taxpayer funded health care—seemingly without complaint. The LA Times recently detailed the benefits: A choice of 10 insurance plans and access to a wide network of doctors and HMOs. Plus, they “get special treatment at Washington’s federal medical facilities and, for a few hundred dollars a month, access to their own pharmacy and doctors, nurses and medical technicians standing by in an office conveniently located between the House and Senate chambers.” ABC News has more on that in-house clinic for lawmakers, officially known as the Office of the Attending Physician:
Services offered by the Office of the Attending Physician include 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. According to congressional budget records, the office is staffed by at least four Navy doctors as well as at least a dozen medical and X-ray technicians, nurses and a pharmacist.
Sources said when specialists are needed, they are brought to the Capitol, often at no charge to members of Congress.
Explains a former doc from the Congressional clinic, patients who can’t get treated on-site get referals to top specialists all over the country. “You would go to the best care in the country. And, for the most part, nobody asked what your insurance was.” And the cost? $503. A year.
What we need to be doing is holding our Senators’ and Congresspersons’ feet to the fire on this issue. Our government owes the American people the same options for health care that are available to other industrialized democracies, and from a moral perspective, the same options for health care that they extend to themselves.
If you agree with this, pick up the phone and call your senators and representative, or email them. We need to keep the pressure up. We need to tell all Democratic congress people that this is what we wanted when we put a majority in office and they have a moral and honorable obligation to act at the will of the people who gave them their jobs. Tell them to stop prostituting themselves to the deep pocketed special interest groups, and to do the right and historic thing for their country.