Here’s How Much Members Of Congress Pay For Their Insurance As They Vote Yours Away

While they don’t get free coverage as many believe – they don’t pay very much.

Republicans are doing everything in their power to repeal Obama’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act.

As CNN reported earlier this month,  Republican “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed the start of the August Senate recess until the third week in August in order to allow more time for his conference to complete ‘its work on health care reform’ among other tasks.”

“In order to provide more time to complete action on important legislative items and process nominees that have been stalled by a lack of cooperation from our friends across the aisle, the Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of August,” McConnell announced in a July 11th statement.

CNBC reports that “As members of Congress debate whether to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, it seems fair to ask: How much do they pay for health care? The answer is that, while they don’t pay nothing for coverage, they don’t pay much.”

To answer that question, CNBC referred to an article by the myth-busting website Snopes published on March 15th of this year.

In that article, Snopes debunked the rumor that “Congressional members and staffers are offered free, no-strings-attached health care.”

“Contrary to popular belief, Congressional members do not receive free health care,” explains Snopes, adding that they receive gold-level Obamacare coverage with the federal government providing “a subsidy equivalent to 72 percent of the weighted average” of their premiums.

“Therefore,” Snopes explains, “MOC

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and staff pay approximately 28 percent of their annual healthcare premiums through pre-tax payroll deductions.”

Noting that “Members of Congress receive benefits very similar to those enjoyed by any employee of a large company,” Snopes adds that “there are two areas where Members of Congress (not staff or family members) can receive free or low-cost health care that the average citizen cannot access.”

  • The first is having access to the Office of the Attending Physician. For an annual fee (unspecified), MOC can receive limited care for routine examinations, consultations, and certain diagnostic tests.
  • The second option is also only available to current Members of Congress. In the Capital region only, they may receive free medical outpatient care at military facilities.

Worse yet, members of Congress have a fallback plan that no other American enjoys as they consider repealing Obamacare, which would result in over 20 million individuals losing their insurance coverage; or passing what is called the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare, which would do away with the mandate causing an estimated 15 million to lose their coverage and “causing premiums on the individual insurance market to spike by 20 percent as plans became dominated by sicker and more expensive customers.”

As Snopes reports, if Obamacare is repealed, members of Congress may purchase insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program as they did prior to the passage of Obamacare

Over twenty million other Americans won’t have that option.

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Samuel Warde

Samuel is a writer, social activist, and all-around troublemaker.
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