It’s a given: politicians don’t rate highly in public opinion polls and for good reason. Name your own favorite annoyance:
- the ethically-challenged tax cheaters who are actively protected when they break laws the rest of us must obey;
- those expensive, useless earmarks for members’ personal convenience;
- vacations at taxpayers’ expense (they’ve increased since the Dems took over)
- the recent decision – in a stressed economy – to assign ever increasing-funds for “staff”, redecorating, etc., while Social Security benefits for the hoi polloi are flattened;
- the blind eye turned to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s shenanigans, thus directly abetting the subprime disaster;
- that other blind eye which refuses to examine the evidence [pdf] or discipline federal workers who spend their workdays watching porn;
- the swinging door between lobbying law firms who hire former legislators or executive branch “advisors” ;
- schmoozing like there’s no tomorrow: party hearty in D.C.
Just google list Congressional corruption. You’ll have over 9.3 million hits from which to choose your own favorite pecadilloes.
Meanwhile, Congress is laboring mightily with its ObamaCare legislation, huffing and puffing in their attempt to blow over the healthcare we already have so they can introduce wolfish “efficiencies” into the system. The same efficiencies you can see displayed in the Post Office, the Veterans’ Administration, Homeland Security, Social Security, Medicare, FEMA, etc., ad nauseam. Soviet efficiencies.
Every single one of these large institutions is a monument to fraud and waste. Here’s why:
The well-known inefficiencies of government operation are not empirical accidents, resulting perhaps from the lack of a civil-service tradition. They are inherent in all government enterprise, and the excessive demand fomented by free and other underpriced services is just one of the many reasons for this condition. [All emphases mine – D]
ABC news has a story about some health care that works but you can’t have any unless you’re an elected member of our imperial legislature:
This fall while members of Congress toil in the U.S. Capitol, working to decide how or even whether to reform the country’s health care system, one floor below them an elaborate Navy medical clinic — described by those who have seen it as something akin to a modern community hospital — will be standing by, on-call and ready to provide Congress with some of the country’s best and most efficient government-run health care.
Formally called the Office of the Attending Physician, the clinic — and at least six satellite offices it supports — bills its mission as one of emergency preparedness and public health. Each day, it stands ready to handle medical emergencies, biological attacks and the occasional fainting tourist visiting Capitol Hill.
Officially, the office acknowledges these types of services, including providing physicals to Capitol police officers and offering flu shots to congressional staffers. But what is rarely discussed outside the halls of Congress is the office’s other role — providing a wealth of primary care medical services to senators, representatives and Supreme Court justices.
The reason this service is “rarely discussed” is obvious: Congress has champagne medical coverage and it wants you to drink watered-down kool aid. If you knew about the medical services these elites are provided, you might not want to swallow what they’re trying to sell you:
Through interviews with former employees and members of Congress, as well as extensive document searches, ABC News has learned new details about the services offered by the Office of Attending Physician to members of Congress over the past few years, from regular visits by a consulting chiropractor to on-site physical therapy.
“A member walked in and was generally walked right back into a physician’s office. They get good care. They are not rushed. They are examined thoroughly,” said Eduardo Balbona, an internist in Jacksonville, Fla., who worked as a staff physician in the OAP from 1993 to 1995.
“You have time to spend to get to know your patients and think about them and really think about how you preserve their health going forward,” Balbona said. “We’re not there to put on Band-Aids. We were there to make sure that everything possible that could be done [is done] to preserve that member of Congress.”
Isn’t that special? They’re going to take real good care of Congress while Congress gives you the shaft.
During the summer’s Town Hall meetings, many members were confronted by their constituents who demanded to know if the Congressman would be willing to accept the level and price of coverage for themselves and their families that they seem to think is good enough for the average American.
Watch our Congressman writhe under that reasonable query. Observe his gritted teeth expression. The person who put this video up on You Tube explains:
Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello (D-5th) is challenged by a constituent to sign onto the same government-run health care plan as the rest of us, and give up his “pretty darn good plan.” He says a lot, commits very little, and infuriates the audience of over 300 people in Greene County, Virginia:
Backed into a corner, ‘call me Tom’ Periello said later he’d consider using the health care plan he intends to shove off onto the rest of us. However, after the Town Hall meetings had run their course, he admitted he wasn’t going to do any such thing. He refused to sign the pledge seen in the video.
Well, give him this much —
– – – – – – – – –
The man would be a fool to give up his Cadillac deal for the clunker he wants us to be strapped into:
Services offered by the Office of the Attending Physician include physicals and routine examinations, on-site X-rays and lab work, physical therapy and referrals to medical specialists from military hospitals and private medical practices. According to congressional budget records, the office is staffed by at least four Navy doctors as well as at least a dozen medical and X-ray technicians, nurses and a pharmacist.
Sources said when specialists are needed, they are brought to the Capitol, often at no charge to members of Congress.
The ABC report said that those familiar with the OAP “described a culture centered on meeting the needs and whims of members of Congress, with almost no concern for cost“.
Remember these nomenklatura get free banking (with no charge for overdrafts), cheap haircuts, a tax-payer subsidized dining room, etc:
Members of Congress do not pay for the individual services they receive at the OAP, nor do they submit claims through their federal employee health insurance policies. Instead, members pay a flat, annual fee of $503 for all the care they receive. The rest of the cost of their care, sources said, is subsidized by taxpayers.
Last year, Congress appropriated more than $3 million to reimburse the Navy for staff salaries at the office. Next year’s budget allocates $3.8 million for the office, including more than half a million dollars to upgrade the Office’s radiology suite. Sources said additional money to operate the office is included in the Navy’s annual budget.
In other words, the total budget for this program is a secret.
The Office of the Attending Physician stonewalled this story, going so far as to kick ABC’s medical editor out of the office and citing “security reasons” for not permitting the press to see the primary care facility Congress enjoys:
The OAP refused to comment in detail for this story, and Rear Adm. Brian Monahan, the Attending Physician to Congress, did not return phone calls requesting an interview. When ABC News chief medical editor Dr. Timothy Johnson visited the office in person in September to speak with Monahan, he was asked to leave.
Read the whole report on ABC’s website. It’s worth your time to find out how opaque our Imperial Congress can be when it has something to hide. And yes, it sure has plenty.
Perhaps other news outlets will chase this story? It’s certainly juicy enough, considering all the posturing, preening, and prevaricating these pols are doing about our health care while hiding their own luxurious coverage in the closet.
Just think: if you too were a member of the Imperials, you could just walk downstairs at work and treat yourself to a massage.
Hat tip to Robert Bidinotto