“Next year Mrs. Boehner will be on Medicare.” This news was brought to you by Michael Hiltzik at the LA Times, in the midst of his fact-checking of John Boehner’s claims to be paying tons more money post-ObamaCare (shockingly a lie).
Also, “Boehner’s premiums are partially covered by his employer, the federal government, which pays up to 75% of employee premiums, up to a cap of $426.14 a month (for 2014).” This is confirmed by Factcheck.Org, which finds that the government pays on average 72% and up to 75%.
Not only do we, the taxpayers, fund 75% of Boehner’s premiums, but his wife is going on Medicare.
Republicans have been trying to kill Medicare for years.
Republicans call public servants like teachers “thugs” for any perks they get, but have no problem with getting 75% of their own premiums paid for.
Republicans like to pretend that their health insurance is the same as any federal employee. U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, made that claim in Florida. And while it’s technically true that their plans are the same, and federal employees get a much better deal than the private sector employees, Congress gets other perks (is this a bad time to remind Boehner that he kept the House gym open when his party shutdown the government?). PolitiFact explained:
(M)embers of Congress do have two optional health perks that not all other federal employees enjoy.
One is use of the Office of the Attending Physician, a low-profile Navy clinic on the Capitol’s first floor that offers basic medical services to members, Hill staffers and sickness-stricken tourists. The clinic was started in 1928 to respond to accidents and emergencies on the Hill, according to a July 2011 profile of the operation by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. Members can opt to regularly access the clinic for services such as X-rays, flu shots and physical therapy at an annual fee of $503.
The other is access to medical and emergency treatment at military hospitals. There’s no charge for outpatient care at Bethesda Naval Hospital (or at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, though it has closed).
Also, most Americans don’t have their premiums picked up by other tax payers.
If austerity were really such a priority for Republicans, surely they’d take aim at the lazy entitlement taking among their own ranks. Why go on Medicare? Why let the government (aka, taxpayer) fund your premiums? My fiscally conservative grandparents refused such payments and paid their own way so I see no reason why austerity preachers wouldn’t do the same.
This proves that John Boehner doesn’t know anything about what most Americans deal with when it comes to healthcare… and for that matter, most Congressional members do not. But Republicans are the people trying to derail affordable healthcare for Americans.
So maybe they should hush up about things they don’t understand, and get on with the business of being total hypocrites on our tax dollars. It’s what they do best.
Read more about the healthcare plans offered to federal employees here.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.