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Rep.-elect Joe Walsh (R-Ill) will turn down government health insurance
The Hill ^ | 12/26/10 | Jordan Fabian

Posted on 12/26/2010 6:51:03 PM PST by Libloather

Rep.-elect Walsh will turn down government health insurance
By Jordan Fabian - 12/26/10 04:10 PM ET

Another newly elected Republican member of Congress says he will not accept the government-sponsored health insurance plan available to lawmakers.

Rep.-elect Joe Walsh (Ill.), who rode a wave of Tea Party support to surprisingly defeat three-term Rep. Melissa Bean (D) in November, said that he does not believe lawmakers should receive the benefits.

"I don’t think congressmen should get pensions or cushy healthcare plans," he told the Chicago News Cooperative.

Republicans who staunchly opposed President Obama's healthcare reform plan have come under pressure from Democrats and liberal activist groups to decline their government healthcare benefits upon taking office.

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) penned a letter to GOP leaders demanding that Republican members "walk that walk" and refuse their federally subsidized coverage.

"If your conference wants to deny millions of Americans affordable health care, your members should walk that walk," Crowley wrote to incoming House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.). "You cannot enroll in the very kind of coverage that you want for yourselves, and then turn around and deny it to Americans who don't happen to be Members of Congress."

The push began in earnest after Rep.-elect Andy Harris (R-Md.) reportedly complained in a November private meeting that his government healthcare benefits did not begin immediately.

So far, incoming Reps. Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) have declined their government health insurance.

But Walsh's wife is reportedly unhappy with her husband's decision: she has a pre-existing medical condition and will have to purchase her own insurance, according to the Chicago News Cooperative.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: barnstorming; clevelandrocks; congress; government; healthcare; illinois; insurance; joewalsh; obamacare; rockymountainway; walsh; walshisahomo; walshisgay
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"I don’t think congressmen should get pensions or cushy healthcare plans,"

That's a new idea.

1 posted on 12/26/2010 6:51:11 PM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather

No pensions, no benefits, no compensation increases. Put into a bill and let’s vote, up or down.


2 posted on 12/26/2010 6:53:38 PM PST by A_Former_Democrat (NO MOS-que AP: It's the "GROUND ZERO MOSQUE")
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To: Libloather

“I don’t think congressmen should get pensions or cushy healthcare plans,”

Well that is some thing you will not here propaganda news report.


3 posted on 12/26/2010 6:55:26 PM PST by 9422WMR (Illegal is not a race)
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To: 9422WMR
Well that is some thing you will not here propaganda news report.

If I've said that once I've said it a thousand times.

4 posted on 12/26/2010 6:58:57 PM PST by Chunga (Go, Sarah, GO!! - Jim Robinson)
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To: 9422WMR

okay spelling police, I know it’s HEAR not here.


5 posted on 12/26/2010 7:01:53 PM PST by 9422WMR (Illegal is not a race)
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To: Libloather
Joe Walsh?
I always liked his music.
Joe Walsh ~ Life's Been Good - Wembly
6 posted on 12/26/2010 7:03:14 PM PST by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus - Domari Nolo)
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To: ChicagoConservative27

Joe Walsh pings.


7 posted on 12/26/2010 7:09:26 PM PST by IMissPresidentReagan ("Sorry I'm late. I had to stop by the wax museum to give the finger to FDR!" C.Hill (Palin '12))
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To: Libloather

Unlike that scumbag Mark Kirk from Ill., the new (R) RINO in the Senate.


8 posted on 12/26/2010 7:10:17 PM PST by Cisco Nix (Real Conservatives stay sober and focused)
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To: A_Former_Democrat

Why can’t our newly elected wonderboys in the House propose and pass a bill requiring them to live under the dictates of Obamacare, just as we do?

Whoever voted against such a bill in either the House or Senate would have a tough time explaining why the rest of us have to choke on the bloody damned mess.

Make ‘em vote on every issue, every detail!


9 posted on 12/26/2010 7:11:48 PM PST by dblup
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To: Libloather

Then I hope that his wife has it for the family. If not, he’s not providing properly for his family and shouldn’t be one of our leaders. I think members of Congress should have health benefits, but their benefits certainly shouldn’t be so much better than what their staff has access to.


10 posted on 12/26/2010 7:21:31 PM PST by twigs
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To: Libloather
"I don’t think congressmen should get pensions or cushy healthcare plans,"

I have no problem with them having health insurance while in congress. Afterwords is another thing.

And I would be ok with a 401k plan for Congress however a pension is out of the question. They should not be in government long enough to qualify for a pension. And the "congress critter for a day pension for life" is beyond disgusting.

11 posted on 12/26/2010 7:22:14 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (When all you have is bolt cutters & vodka everything looks like the lock on Wolf Blitzer's boathouse)
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To: Libloather
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) penned a letter to GOP leaders demanding that Republican members "walk that walk" and refuse their federally subsidized coverage.
"If your conference wants to deny millions of Americans affordable health care, your members should walk that walk," Crowley wrote to incoming House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.). "You cannot enroll in the very kind of coverage that you want for yourselves, and then turn around and deny it to Americans who don't happen to be Members of Congress."

IIRC, the health care package congress has and Democrats there enjoy is not anything like what they crammed down our throats. I am quite sure no panel of political appointees is there to determine when a congressman has passed his "best if used by date" and no such panel has ever pulled the plug on a congressman, denied a congressman a kidney transplant on the basis of age discrimination, performed a late term abortion on a congressman, left a congressman's infant to die in a hospital broom closet, made a congressman wait 6 months or more for treatment, denied a congresswoman a mammogram due to underage, denied Nancy Pelosi a botox injection on the basis of it being a fruitless waste of resources, or even denied Hillary plastic surgery because of its high probability of failure. If congress had the sort of health care they impose on everyone else, we wouldn't have had Democrats sitting in office well into senility or voting from their hospital beds.

12 posted on 12/26/2010 7:35:58 PM PST by piasa
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To: piasa

Not to mention when congress voted themselves these perks they read the bill carefully BEFORE voting for it to make sure they were getting the best possible deal.


13 posted on 12/26/2010 7:37:52 PM PST by piasa
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To: Libloather
I personally think it's a little silly for him to forsake his health benefits while employed. I would certainly not hold it against him for taking advantage of his compensation. Refusing a pension, on the other hand would be a principled stand.

It was a ridiculous comparison for the libs to make, regarding congressional health care plans and opposition to Obamacare. Instead of validating their strawman argument, they should have refuted it.
14 posted on 12/26/2010 7:41:23 PM PST by andyk (Hi, my name's Andy, and I am a BF 1942 / Desert Combat junkie.)
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To: Libloather

Dear Liberals:

Congress is EXEMPT from Obamacare.
The insurance they are getting is not the insurance we’re going to get.

HOW DO THESE LIBERAL NO GOODS KEEPING GETTING ELECTED?????????

As for this new Republican, I hope he’s serious about getting rid of Obamacare and not just pandering.


15 posted on 12/26/2010 7:42:29 PM PST by Tzimisce (It's just another day in Obamaland.)
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To: Tzimisce

Fools and idiots being allowed to vote.


16 posted on 12/26/2010 7:44:27 PM PST by sport
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To: dblup
FEHB, the Federal Employees Health Benefit program is not all that plush. Sure, it's got a piece in it for state department employees stationed abroad that gives them airlift to someplace with a surgeon and a hospital (there being an awful lot of countries where that is simply not a thing you can count on), but you have to be in one of those countries to sign up for it.

Think about this a second, that insurance might well seem extravagent and certainly subsidized, but they still make the employees pay for about 30% of it.

Hmm ~ what a deal eh.

This all comes to an end when you're 66 ~ then they turn you over to Medicare ~ but you still get to pay and pay and pay.

At some point someone should 'splain to that Congresscritter that all the propaganda he's heard on the issue is just that ~ propaganda.

BTW, the Congress already voted to conform to the Obamakkkare stuff ~ but FEHB already did. That's why there's no big change that've you seen announced.

Obamakkkare has nothing new ~ just the same old same old.

17 posted on 12/26/2010 7:50:48 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Libloather

This becomes silly. So the taxpayers pay for Democrats’ insurance, but not Republicans’? Cut it back or kill it for all Congresscritters equally.


18 posted on 12/26/2010 7:52:37 PM PST by guitarist
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To: Tzimisce
Since Congress already voted to require their insurance plans to conform to Obamakkkare where do you get the idea that's not happened?

Remember, the essence of Obamakkkare is to make the insurance you got too expensive to keep.

And no, you don't get stuck in a government insurance plan ~ you have to cut back on your food, and your housing, and shoes for your kids to pay through the nose or you go to jail for the rest of your life.

At some point here you will catch up with the reality of the situation and see what it is Virginia was suing about. People here just don't have the bucks to pay for the gold plated insurance policies Obamakkkare envisions. We gotta eat, heat our homes, wear clothes, get to our jobs ~ and all of that is prohibited under this nonsense.

Spend your time getting it repealed.

19 posted on 12/26/2010 7:54:37 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: dblup

yes, that would put it on a dime.


20 posted on 12/26/2010 7:55:59 PM PST by stickywillie
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To: muawiyah

Are you telling me that a secretary who works for, say, the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Indian Affairs has the same health care as a loser like Sen. Max Baucus (D-umbass, Montana)?

If so that’s news to me.

But even so: why should there be any distinction for federal employees and the rest of us? If I’m going to have my good health care ruined by Obamacare, and I think it will be, why should the fed folks get to make an end run?


21 posted on 12/26/2010 7:57:04 PM PST by dblup
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To: dblup
The only special deal Congresscritters have ever gotten are free flights from wherever they were to wherever it was they had coverage, AND, under certain circumstances, they could check into military facilities worldwide.

But think about it, remember when the Democrats tried to assassinate Ronaldus Magnus? Did you see what happened next? He went to a civilian hospital. As a government employee at the time my insurance plan would have paid for any service I received at the same hospital. In fact, my youngest son had been born there just weeks before. My current plan doesn't cover that hospitalnow but instead allows me to go to the same hospital Vice President Cheney went to ~ a local county hospital in fact!

These guys sign up with the same half dozen programs the rest of us have available.

We all pay about 30% of the total premium cost. The other 70% is part of the retirement package ~ I earned it. It's simply deferred income.

Your local Congresscritter has pretty much the same deal except for being able to check into military facilities. I can't do that but I can travel around the country and my insurance will cover my treatment somewhere else if it's an emergency.

My current plan is with an HMO. My father is insured by Aetna. He's older but he checks into the same sort of hospital I would check into, and gets the same coverage, and everything else. It's a totally private plan ~ paid for as part of his retirement package with a company that's now defunct. All that's left is the trust fund to pay for his medical insurance.

This question that keeps popping up leads me to believe that a lot of you guys have never gotten health insurance.

22 posted on 12/26/2010 8:07:53 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
Since Congress already voted to require their insurance plans to conform to Obamakkkare where do you get the idea that's not happened?

Source?

I would be surprised to find that Congress is now required to be under Obamacare - they might quite a point to exclude themselves the first time they wrote it.

And no, you don't get stuck in a government insurance plan ~ you have to cut back on your food, and your housing, and shoes for your kids to pay through the nose or you go to jail for the rest of your life.

I realize that.

At some point here you will catch up with the reality of the situation and see what it is Virginia was suing about.

I thought I was complaining about the reality of Obamacare.

People here just don't have the bucks to pay for the gold plated insurance policies Obamakkkare envisions. We gotta eat, heat our homes, wear clothes, get to our jobs ~ and all of that is prohibited under this nonsense.

I realize that.

Spend your time getting it repealed.

OKay - you hate it and we're just beat. So let's just die then....
23 posted on 12/26/2010 8:08:14 PM PST by Tzimisce (It's just another day in Obamaland.)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/planinfo/index.asp This is a good page to go to see how the FEHB insurance program operates for federal employees and your Congresscritters.


24 posted on 12/26/2010 8:11:21 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: IMissPresidentReagan

Love it.


25 posted on 12/26/2010 8:12:39 PM PST by ChicagoConservative27
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To: dblup
Are you telling me that a secretary who works for, say, the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Indian Affairs has the same health care as a loser like Sen. Max Baucus (D-umbass, Montana)?

In terms of insurance, depends on what plan they choose. FEHB offers numerous options.

It's entirely possible that both would choose the same thing: standard option Blue Cross/Blue Shield. A very good plan but not a Cadillac one.

But as you suspect, there is a difference. Baucus can walk into the office of the Capitol Hill physician anytime he needs care; the agency secretary doesnt have that option.

26 posted on 12/26/2010 8:20:14 PM PST by freespirited (This tagline dedicated to the memory of John Armor, a/k/a Congressman Billybob.)
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To: Tzimisce

http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/planinfo/2011/brochures/73-047.pdf#page=92 Go to page 90 to see what the monthly cost to a government employee or retiree is for Kaiser HMO services. The Congresscritters that belong to Kaiser here get the same price I get. Probably a full 1/4 of Congress goes to one of two facilities for services.


27 posted on 12/26/2010 8:20:56 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Are you effing kidding?

I have worked for and PAID for my health insurance all my life.

Look, I mean no offense, but don’t go blathering on about the challenges of paying your thirty percent of federal employee premiums. Good lord.

The way you and people like you go on makes me wonder what you’d do in an hourly-wage job, that gives you a week’s vacation for the first year, or maybe the first few years, and two weeks after that for ten years, and three after fifteen.

Try running your own little shop sometime and see how tough your present benefit package looks to you then. Put in 80 hours a week and sweep floors and interview half-educated applicants and wonder how much of your bottom line is bleeding out the back door, or the front-—for pete’s sake, man, WE PAY YOUR SALARY, YOUR BENEFITS, PROBABLY YOUR TRAVEL, YOUR CHILDCARE...and you find it in you to question what we have dealt with in our lives? Well, you are welcome, is all I can tell you.


28 posted on 12/26/2010 8:22:02 PM PST by dblup
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To: Libloather
"I don’t think congressmen should get pensions or cushy healthcare plans," he told the Chicago News Cooperative.

Pinch me or shout to wake me up. WOW, I love this guy.

29 posted on 12/26/2010 8:23:12 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: dblup
Only time tax dollars paid any part of my salary was when I was in the Infantry defending your worthless Butt.

SO, STFU.

30 posted on 12/26/2010 8:24:33 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
But think about it, remember when the Democrats tried to assassinate Ronaldus Magnus?

I am not one to stick up for Dems, but isn't that a little unfair, to blame the party for what one crazy a$$ Hinckley did to impress Jodie Foster?

31 posted on 12/26/2010 8:25:40 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle

The Democrat judges were the ones that made it tougher to stick guys like Hinckley into hospitals for forced treatment. They gotta’ take the blame for allowing him to run loose to shoot Ronaldus Magnus.


32 posted on 12/26/2010 8:27:46 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Tzimisce

You sound like that crazy guy in Florida.


33 posted on 12/26/2010 8:30:16 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: dblup

Congressmen pay a one-time price, IIRC, and have an onsite pharmacy & doctor office on Capitol Hill itself.

Federal installations have a nurse’s office, but if you aren’t a fed, you could fall over and the most anyone would do is call 911.


34 posted on 12/26/2010 8:33:39 PM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: muawiyah

“FEHB, the Federal Employees Health Benefit program is not all that plush.”

You are misinformed. FEHB is a fantastic health care package. The best part of FEHB is that coverage can continue throughout retirement contrary to your assertion. You are correct that FEHB is highly subsidized by taxpayers especially after retirement. As usual, taxpayers get stuck the tab for first benefits provided to government employees.


35 posted on 12/26/2010 8:33:39 PM PST by businessprofessor
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To: businessprofessor
Hmm ~ so FEHB is not as plush as the Medicare into which you get "converted" at 66.

That's how it works. We lose our FEHB plans, but we continue to pay for them, and get Medicare.

36 posted on 12/26/2010 8:35:37 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: businessprofessor
BTW, my health care isn't subsidized by taxpayers at all. Further, it's paid for YEARS IN ADVANCE by my former employer. My retirement plan is $78billion ahead as well.

What you don't know about federal employment, FEHB and retirement is IMMENSE.

37 posted on 12/26/2010 8:37:26 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: combat_boots
Most postal installations with something like 2000 or more employees have a physician present or on call 24/7 (or normal hours). With their downtown locations the situation is usually that a physician is on call.

Most large industrial concerns have doctors on contract for a variety of services.

Is this abnormal or are we now like India where we step over the bodies.

38 posted on 12/26/2010 8:39:59 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: combat_boots

BTW, if you fall over inside a federal facility they’ll get you to medical care. it’s the law.


39 posted on 12/26/2010 8:41:14 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

The point I was trying to make is that Congressmen have medical care available to them and at lower out of pocket costs that is way beyond what others do, including secretaries and mechanics at federal facilities, including federal employees. Contractors and other visitors, not so much.

But yes. They will call 911 for you.


40 posted on 12/26/2010 8:52:31 PM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: Libloather

Well, that’s nice — but of course (and it’s not his fault), we can’t turn down health insurance — the government mandates that we buy it.


41 posted on 12/26/2010 8:54:05 PM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: piasa
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) penned a letter to GOP leaders demanding that Republican members "walk that walk" and refuse their federally subsidized coverage.

But that would violate the law he just voted for, which requires all of us to have health insurance, usually required to be provided by our employer.

If he thinks republican congressmen should be allowed to go without health insurance, he should walk that talk and give ALL americans the right to choose or not choose whatever insurance that they want.

42 posted on 12/26/2010 8:56:43 PM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Libloather

He has accountants that pay for it all.


43 posted on 12/26/2010 9:17:53 PM PST by rfp1234 (Badgers? We don't need no stinkin' badgers!)
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To: muawiyah

You must not have read basic literature about FEHB. Here is a link about post retirement benefits. The taxpayer subsidizes most of the premiums. This benefit is especially important for the large number of federal employees electing early retirement before Medicare.

http://www.myfederalretirement.com/public/165.cfm


44 posted on 12/26/2010 9:32:33 PM PST by businessprofessor
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

THey should have health insurance while serving.

BASIC GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE. NOT THE CADILLAC PLANS THEY HAVE NOW.


45 posted on 12/26/2010 9:44:11 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: muawiyah

I have no idea what you refer. FEHB is heavily subsidized during retirement for federal employees.

Federal pensions are not funded. Perhaps you are referring to the savings plan in addition to your pension. I am not even sure if the savings plan is funded, at least the fixed income part of the savings plan. Federal pensions are sources of immense unfunded liabilities for taxpayers. The federal government does not even account for its unfunded pension liability. Federal employees contribute only a pittance for the pension and post retirement health care benefits.

I believe that we have had these exchanges before. You assert a poor federal retiree position. I assert that federal retirement benefits are fabolous, on par with the best state government plans. Congress has done a fine job of disguising the true value of retiree benefits for federal employees. Here are some of the fabulous benefits that you seem to deride perhaps hoping that taxpayers do not revolt about the costs of the benefits:

- Early retirement starting at age 57
- Catch up Social Security benefits from age 57 to 62
- Highly subsidized early retiree medical care that can continue throughout retirement. Even if you do not elect FEHB after age 65, you have received an enormous subsidy from age 57 to 65. The cost of a comparable private plan during this period could be more than $20,000 per year.
- Thrift savings plan with taxpayer contributions of 5 percent.
- Less than one percent employee cost for FERS benefits

The taxpayer contributes 16.2 percent (plus Social Security of 6.2 percent) in addition to paying for your early retiree medical benefits. Yet you still complain.


46 posted on 12/26/2010 9:48:37 PM PST by businessprofessor
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To: Libloather
"If your conference wants to deny millions of Americans affordable health care... Crowley wrote"

Whoever it was who said that liberalism is a mental disorder has a point. Where in the Constitution is Congress granted any Power to deny millions of Americans affordable health care? This imaginary Power to deny millions of Americans affordable health rests on the bizarre premise that Congress has the Power of health care - an incoherent notion that is an affront to the Constitution as well as to common sense.

47 posted on 12/26/2010 9:52:25 PM PST by Diamond (He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people,)
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To: Libloather

The heath care available to members of Congress is the same health care available to most government employees and similar to to the insurance available to employees of large private corporations - it’s insurance proved by private-sector insurers purchased via the bargaining power of a large group.

IMO it’s counter-productive to claim that members of Congress should not be able to participate in this plan - it just makes it that much more difficult for anyone other than the independently wealthy to hold such office.

If there is anything scandalous about the situation, it’s that there is not way for many other citizens to participate in such groups.


48 posted on 12/27/2010 3:35:36 AM PST by M. Dodge Thomas
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To: businessprofessor
Use your head fella. 30% of your federal workforce consists of POSTAL WORKERS. Although they make use of FEHB and the federal retirement system, their Health Benefits are paid by THEM and by POSTAGE ~ there are NO TAXES INVOLVED.

The USPS pays OPM for their retirements IN ADVANCE and it also pays FEHB for their medical insurance costs IN ADVANCE ~ actually 5 years in advance.

You want me to think of you as Ol'Massa 'cause YOU pay the bills and yet you're just a leach on postal delivery services. You get that for free. Lord only knows if you actually pay your postage or maybe jury rigged your meter head to get free postage, but if you have, Heaven help you.

No, you are not my master. You didn't pay me out of your taxes.

Now you know.

BTW, you could have discovered that by reading my homepage on FR and thinking about it.

49 posted on 12/27/2010 4:51:22 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: CharlesWayneCT
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) penned a letter to GOP leaders demanding that Republican members "walk that walk" and refuse their federally subsidized coverage.

But that would violate the law he just voted for, which requires all of us to have health insurance, usually required to be provided by our employer.

If he thinks republican congressmen should be allowed to go without health insurance, he should walk that talk and give ALL americans the right to choose or not choose whatever insurance that they want.

Great comeback!

50 posted on 12/27/2010 4:54:37 AM PST by ContraryMary (GWB -- He kept us safe after 9/11)
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