Boy, how did we miss this story?
At the beginning of this month, Congressman-elect Bill Johnson announced in a trumpeting press release that he was refusing to accept Congressional health care benefits in protest of President Obama’s health care insurance reform law.
Ironically, Governor Ted Strickland, who used to serve in the same district as Johnson will, refused to accept congressional health care benefits until all of his constituents had access to the kind of choices in plans and benefits as he did. In other words, where Strickland refused to accept health care until there was a universal benefit, Johnson now refuses to accept health care benefits because of the existence of such a universal benefit. From Johnson’s press release:
“Lincoln famously put forth the notion that government should be of the people, by the people and for the people,” Johnson said. “This is one substantial way I can show that my commitment to the people of Eastern and Southern Ohio is to help them, not to gain exclusive benefits for myself.”
Johnson said Congress must focus on repealing Obama Health Care and instead adopt patient-based, market-driven health care solutions.
“I oppose ObamaCare because government-controlled health care will create more debt and huge bureaucracy,” Johnson said. “We need to reverse the government takeover of our health care, and we should adopt common sense, patient-centered, private sector solutions like making health care portable from job to job and state to state, tort reform, and promoting health savings accounts.”
Did you know that Congressman-elect Johnson is retired from the Air Force? Apparently, he was hoping his constituents didn’t know. David Skolnick of the Youngstown Vindicator, the Mahoning Democratic Party, and ODP Chairman Chris Redfern, apparently, knew that:
What wasn’t included in the statement is Johnson, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, has and will continue to receive federal health-care benefits from that branch of the military.
In other words, Congressman-elect Johnson isn’t going with any of the cafeteria plans of private health insurers offered to members of Congress. Instead, he’s sticking to TRICARE. Given his age and retired status, it gets worse.
Congressman-elect Johnson is probably participating in the TRICARE for Life program. You know, the TRICARE program that supplements… Medicare coverage.
What was that about the evils of “government-controlled” health care, Congressman-elect?
His press release may be a “winner” for some uninformed voters out there, but the whole thing has a “Circle of Life” fail feel to it.