$503 Per Year Buys a Congress Member the Cadillac of Health Care Perks

Posted on October 1, 2009


For a flat annual payment of $503 per year, any member of Congress or Supreme Court Justice can have access to a doctor, usually without a wait, pharmacy services, lab work and more advanced medical care.

Reported at ABC News , the Office of Attending Physician (OAP), stands at the ready to perform physicals, adminster shots and distribute medication, perform X-rays and other lab work, provide physical therapy and even call in specialists with no additional cost to the member of Congress.   After paying the annual  fee, all additional medical cost is subsidized by the taxpayer. 

The Navy provides the staff and was reimbursed $3 million last year to cover Office of Attending Physician’s payroll. This year, the Navy will be reimbursed $3.8 million which includes an upgrade to the Office’s Radiology suite.

Quoted in the article,  Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for the House Committee on Administration said, “Congressmen are also eligible for free out-patient care at military facilities in the Washington, D.C., area, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Medical Center.”

Only 240 members last year paid the $503 (which has been relatively the same price for the last 17 years), but even those who had not paid the fee weren’t turned away.

Congress is currently debating what type of health care reform will become the law of the land.  But of course, they will try as hard as possible to keep themselves exempt.  They have already had a chance to show their faith in their own proposals, and they declined to enroll.   On July 16, Representative Dean Heller (R.-Nevada) offered an amendment to H.R. 3200 that would require members of Congress to enroll in any government-run health care plan.  It was defeated by the Democrats, along party lines, 21 to 18.

So tell me, for $503 a year, how much health care can you get?  For most, that doesn’t even cover the health insurance premiums cost for a family for two months, let alone an entire year of lab costs, medications and doctor appointments.

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Posted in: Congress, Health Care