Rich Vail at The Vail Spot has a post up today saying he has an “impeccable source” telling him that Senator Barbara Mikulski D-MD) will announce her retirement from the U.S. Senate within days.
Citing Mikulsk’s, (74) recently broken ankle and surgery, a slow recovery and the “poor” health insurance provided through Congress, she is apparently ready to call it quits.
I can’t claim to know much about the health care plans available through Congress, but there are some 300 plans to choose from – ranging from low cost to more costly, ranging from a lower deductible to higher deductibles. The insured holds the reins to his/her plan. It is a choice. These plans are not “assigned.” And the insured pays – the plans are not free.
It’s not a “single-payer” system where the government acts as the
one and only health insurance company. As President Bush’s chief of
personnel Kay Coles James said in 2003, while lecturing at the
conservative Heritage Foundation, “the FEHB program is not centralized,
government-run health care.” It has drawn praise both from
conservatives and liberals, including President Obama, who held it up
as a model for his own health care proposals.
According to the Congressional Research Service,
the FEHBP offers about 300 different private health care plans,
including five government-wide, fee-for-service plans and many regional
health maintenance organization (HMO) plans, plus high-deductible,
tax-advantaged plans. All plans cover hospital, surgical and physician
services, and mental health services, prescription drugs and
“catastrophic” coverage against very large medical expenses. There are
no waiting periods for coverage when new employees are hired, and there
are no exclusions for preexisting conditions. The FEHBP negotiates
contracts annually with all insurance companies who wish to
participate. There is plenty of competition for the business; FEHBP is
the largest employer-sponsored health plan in the U.S.
Read the details at The Vail Spot.