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The Voice of Reason: We all deserve the best health care plan, don’t we?

July 1, 1993

The Voice of Reason: We all deserve the best health care plan, don’t we?

By Tony Lamia

Should elected officials pass laws that favor themselves over you? I don’t know your answer, but mine is, “Hell no.” Well, their answer must be, “too bad,” because that’s just what they do. For example, did you know that they have established a different health care system for members of Congress and their families than they impose on us, which is Medicare?

The “Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP),” is based on free market principles of consumer choice and competition, unlike Medicare, which is based on principles of socialism. Here’s what United seniors Association (USA) had to say in its February 1999, “On the Issues,” publication:

“The FEHBP has a broad range of private health plans, with a variety of benefit packages. Participants choose a plan at a price they wish to pay. Almost 400 private health plans nationwide compete for the business of close to 9 million persons, including 1.6 million federal retirees and their spouses.

“Unlike Medicare, there is no huge bureaucracy superintending every aspect of health care financing and delivery; there is no central planning or price controls. Consumer choice and competition prevail. Each year, federal workers and retirees can either hire or fire their insurance plan.”

For those of you already in the Medicare program, do you have such choices? Wait until you hear the rest of the story from USA:

“The FEHBP program is governed by 30 pages of statute and 93 pages of regulation in the Federal Register (as opposed to a total of 111,000 pages of rules, regulations, and related paperwork for Medicare).”

“In controlling costs, the FEHBP has outperformed both Medicare and private employer-based health insurance.”

You have to ask yourself the question, “Why would elected officials establish a different program for them, meanwhile claiming that the one they established for us is the best solution?” My answer to you is that the powerful elite actually wants you to have less than they have.

Call me cynical, but the truth is that people in power naturally tend to become more and more elitist, the longer they stay in office. That’s why I recommend term limits and campaign reforms that would result in ordinary citizens representing us in Congress. So long as we vote for incumbents, we will always be subjected to the controlling nature of people who fear giving us too much will cause them to end up with too little. Such is the nature of greed.

There are two types of career politicians: those who are beholden to mega-corporations (Republicans and Democrats) and those who want to control every aspect of our daily lives (Republicans and Democrats). Their rhetoric sounds different, but their goals are the same, to wit: keep the power, and keep we the people under their thumbs.

So, while they discuss on TV how they plan on providing benefits for us, such as prescription drug coverage for seniors, keep reminding yourself that they’ve had this benefit available to their families for the past 40 years, when FEHBP was formed (six years prior to Medicare).

When I go to the voting booth, I never vote for the incumbent. If there is no opposing candidate who is new and reasonable in his/her political views, then I leave that office blank. I hope you will do the same at the next election. Believe me, if enough voters did this, it would send a strong message to Washington to start treating us as first-class citizens by making all laws apply uniformly. A good start would be to reform Medicare into a FEHBP for all citizens.

Tony L. Lamia is the author of Blame It On The System. www.blamesystem.com.

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