About time: Trump warns he will slash Congress’ healthcare perks

by WorldTribune Staff, August 2, 2017

As Republicans were once again striking out on an Obamacare repeal and replace bill, President Donald Trump stepped up to the plate and vowed to take away Congress members’ healthcare subsidies, which come courtesy of the American taxpayer.

“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” the president tweeted.

Taxpayers pick up roughly 70 percent of Congress members’ insurance premiums.

Later, he tweeted this: “If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn’t it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?”

Around the same time, Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that it’s “pretty typical” for there to be “one set of rules for the American people and another for the political class here in our nation’s capital.”

Congressional members and their aides get healthcare subsidies that range between $6,000 and $12,000 per year, meaning taxpayers pick up roughly 70 percent of their insurance premiums.

“Actually, Congress should lose these subsidies no matter what – whether they repeal and replace or not,” columnist Cheryl K. Chumley wrote for The Washington Times. “And on top of that: They should lose all their special benefits. Why should they have, when the average Americans have-not?”

That Congress members even gets these subsidies “is an affront, and not just to the taxpayer – to the whole ‘of, by and for the people’ system of governance that’s supposed to be America,” Chumley wrote.

“But it’s not just health care.”

Members of Congress, “in addition to base salaries of $174,000 that are about three times higher than the private-sector average, get free airport parking, free gyms – on-site, and lavishly outfitted with televisions, a swimming pool, a sauna, basketball courts – and extra-generous vacation days. They also get retirement plans that are the stuff of Social Security recipient dreams; flights to points domestic and overseas that are funded largely by tax dollars; and death benefits that beat even that of the U.S. military.

“Why should the family of a killed congressman receive more than that of a killed soldier?” Chumley wrote.

Congress members also get about $1 million each “for allowances for staff, and a sneaky, snaky insider-trader system that explains why pretty much every member of Congress hits the big bucks shortly after making it to Capitol Hill.”

So, Chumley wrote, “you’ve got a system where politicians are at the top, the people at the bottom.”

The president “shouldn’t just strip the health care subsidies. He should write an order that no federal employee can receive more than the private sector hand that feeds. Talk about draining the swamp. Strip the cushy special benefits from the creatures of the swamp, and watch: They’ll simply pack and flee.”

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