Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Report on Good Morning America

I do not normally have the television on in the morning. However, I turned it on after hearing about a second earthquake during the night with another tsunami and knew that Good Morning America would be talking about it as well as the other earthquake and tsunami that hit Samoa yesterday. I was quite surprised by one of the other stories.

Apparently, those in Congress can pay under $400 a year to receive unlimited health care on site. If they need specialists they are brought in with no additional charge. They had a hard time getting people to speak about it on camera. Interestingly, the reporter made the case for primary health care being the key to lowering health care costs and that increasing the availability of primary care is what is needed. I agree with that... to an extent. Medical school enrollment is down and some doctors are leaving the field altogether. Why? I think it is the decline in incentive.

I just wanted to throw that out there real quick. I've got a busy morning and don't have time to look up some things I'd like to. I do know that some companies are now hiring doctors to have on site to keep their health care costs down while still providing services for their employees. I'm interested in seeing if I can find some good examples of how that is working.


Anonymous said...

Whatever healthcare reform throws out, I would respect it a lot more if those in Congress got the same coverage as ordinary folk.

Mrs. Beamer said...

I looked into this gold standard medical service that the congress gets - here are some of the details that I found about it.

Members of congress do not pay for the individual services at the OAP (Office of the Attending Physician), nor do they submit claims through their federal employee health insurance policies. Instead, the members pay a flat annual fee of $503 for all the care they receive. The rest of the cost of the care, sources said, is subsidized by taxpayers. Next years budget will allocate $3.8 million for the OAP, including more than half a million dollars to upgrade the office radiology suite.

The $503 annual fee has not changed in 17 years, despite all other sectors in the health care industry experiencing rampant inflation in costs.

The clinic is staffed by 4 Navy doctors, at least a dozen medical and x-ray technicians, physical therapists, nurses and a pharmacist. The clinic operates on a "walk-in basis" and care is administered immediately. There is no waiting for medical services.

Several former staff members and private physicians who have consulted at the OAP in the last several years, describe the clinic as having a culture centered on meeting the whims and needs of members of congress, with almost no concern for cost. One former staffer, described OAP as "the best health care on the planet".

I am very surprised that ABC news/ Good Morning America would dig up and present this story as they are so "in the tank" for Obamacare. Does anyone think we will get this same quality of congressional medical care under any plan that congress plans for the rest of the country?

Anonymous said...


Stuff like this seriously knocks my faith in democracy. It seems American congressman are just as corrupt as our politicians.

Coffee Bean said...

Thank you so much Mrs. Beamer for looking up that information. I haven't had time to get back to this yet. I was, and am still, shocked that this was covered by GMA.

Shafiq... the more I learn the more disgusted I become.

BLBeamer said...

Shafiq - You don't know the half of it!

Susanne said...

What's that saying about everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.

Yeah, there are a lot of practices by our government officials that are different for us common folks. And we wonder why most of them are opposed to term limits! Why when they have life soooooo good?

Of course *we* are the ones who keep putting them back in office. :-/