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Would Congress put their own Health Insurance Benefits on the line?

Would Congress put their own Health Insurance Benefits on the line?

Okay, I get it. When it comes to health care, a single-payer system is nothing short of evil. Any government option at all is un-American, unnecessary, and unacceptable. The economy is in collapse and this is no time to take on health care reform.

It is to the free market that we must turn for answers. 

More than 45 million Americans are uninsured. Millions more are struggling under the weight of premiums, co-pays, and deductibles that threaten to price them right out of the inadequate coverage they have. Why? 

The number of employers offering group coverage is falling and unemployment is rising. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed often are not eligible for group coverage. Getting an individual insurance policy on the open market is a daunting task, especially if you have the misfortune of having a pre-existing condition. The insurance industry is not particularly interested in taking on customers who will need health care. It’s not good for the bottom line. Given the legal option, they flatly reject such applicants, or charge exorbitant fees. That is not about to change on its own.

We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we can vote for those who will represent us in Congress. In exchange for our confidence, they receive a salary and health care benefits. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Employees Benefits Program offers “the widest selection of health plans in the country.” The site also boasts that “when it comes to your health care, the best surprise is no surprise.” 

It all sounds so reassuring. I could use a little reassurance myself when it comes to health care options, but that’s hard to come by out here.

I’ve got nothing against federal employees. But to the members of congress who insist that a government fall back plan cannot be allowed to exist, or that the time is not right for health care reform, you’ve got some explaining to do.

Maybe you’re right, maybe we, outside the walls of Congress, are doing something wrong. Why not take the leadership role you’ve been given and show us how it’s done? 

Give up your health care benefits for yourselves and your families and brave the individual market. Take your pre-existing conditions and go forth to find affordable individual medical insurance policies. It shouldn’t be particularly difficult from what I hear, especially since most of you are far wealthier than the average citizen. And then live with that coverage for a couple of years, through sickness and in health, just to make sure you fully grasp the details.

Publicly document your journey through the free market system so we can learn from your experiences. Naturally, the details will vary according to your state of residence.

If you really believe that health care reform right now is a mistake, and that a government plan is just plain wrong, put your own health care on the line. We’ll have no choice but to take you seriously.

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7:55AM PDT on Aug 14, 2009

Dale P: Elsewhere on this site there is a petition which has received nary a view, asking that congresspeople's health plans be stripped from them until such a time as we ALL have what they have. Look for it and sign it, and spread it wide and far. Thanks.

1:01PM PDT on Jul 2, 2009

Want to know how we can get Congress and the President to initiate real health care reform? Start a petition, put on a nation wide vote, take away our politicians FAT health care programs and replace it with Medicaid. Then, wait and see how long it takes to get "real" health care reform then.

4:34AM PDT on Jul 2, 2009

hello! I think you are finally getting it,we the people do need to wake up and remember who really has the power I mean isnt it the goverment of the people by the people for the people We are the people,stand up and be counted on this traversty called health care.We deserve the right to the same level of health care that the people whom we elected have I agree get rid of private insurers they are without hearts and have caused many deaths by there actions.If we have to march on Washington so be it.

9:37AM PDT on Jun 30, 2009

I agree that our Senators & Congresspersons should give up their health care benefits.

Why should someone who has 100% free health care coverage be allowed to decide what kind of health care those of us without health insurance should receive?

I've lived and worked in Sweden, The Netherlands, and New Zealand - all three countries with Universal Single Payer Health Care. I had complete coverage, even of pre-existing conditions, freedom to chose which doctor & hospital I wanted to use, and no waiting!

The arguments against Single Payer Universal Health Care coverage are fallacious, delusive, and without merit. They take advantage of American's ignorance of a health care system that works!

8:27PM PDT on Jun 25, 2009

...oh...yada yada yada....enough with tactics! just throw the bums out come election time!

7:41AM PDT on Jun 25, 2009

We certainly NEED to get together on this one, our biggest failure is to meet the challenge and DEMAND health care/eliminate the insurance companies NOW if we could all get together and show the government that we mean business by organizing and marching to the white house in HUGE numbers I mean HUGE we could do it. That is how it has always been done. I would like to see our so called representatives stripped of health care benefits until they figure out how to cover everyone.

7:52AM PDT on Jun 24, 2009

Lets all of us write our Senators and
Representatives that we all want the same health and retirement plan that they get. And perhaps we could include a raise for everyone also like they get. They might then be more interested in getting a health plan for the American people.

7:31AM PDT on Jun 24, 2009

I am just 1 of the millions of people struggling to pay my Blue Cross Blue Shield policy. The premium keeps increasing and there's no end in sight. We need Health Care Reform today! If all the other democracies in the world can do it, so can we.

8:58PM PDT on Jun 20, 2009

Please sign Senator Bernie Sanders’ Petition for Single Payer Healthcare for All and pass this announcement far and wide.

Please send this to everyone you know!

8:54PM PDT on Jun 20, 2009

This is for Gene, especially.


** 2.6 Million New Jobs,
** $317 Billion in Business Revenue,
** $100 Billion in Wages, and
** $44 Billion New Tax Revenues

The press release is here:

Here’s the study:

See the YouTube clip (5 minutes) about how to pay for healthcare reform “HR676 - The Single Payer Solution, Part 4 of 4: 
It’s about public financing and private delivery.

It’s clear that single-payer is the solution, not only in terms of providing quality care for all, but also economically!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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