Back during the same town hall where he snarled at a young girl for daring to ask a simple question about his no-taping policy, Baron Hill was asked a question about his own health care plan.
The Bloomington Herald-Times reported on the question:
When a man asked Hill why everyday people can’t have the same health care coverage offered to members of Congress, Hill said he and his wife were covered under his wife’s plan.
“When my wife retires, I will go to the health care exchange and pick a plan, just like all other Americans,” Hill said.
So Baron is on his wife's health care plan. And when she retired, he intended to go out and pick a plan like all other Americans.
Well, Baron's wife Betty just retired.
In an article in Friday's Courier-Journal, we find out what Baron did.
Here's a hint: it wasn't "like all other Americans."
One of the controversies in the congressional health-care reform debate has been the kind of coverage lawmakers are provided.
During the summer’s health-care townhall meetings, critics argued that members of Congress get such good plans that they cannot understand the problems of Americans unable to find affordable coverage.
But, in fact, members of Congress get the same coverage options available to all other federal government employees under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, choosing from an array of private companies, such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield or Louisville-based Humana.
Kentucky’s federal lawmakers, Indiana’s two senators and Rep. Baron Hill, D-9th District, Indiana, all get their private coverage through the federal employees’ program.
The CJ article sort of sells the coverage given to Federal employees short, making it seem like members of Congress are just like all other Federal employees.
First of all, Federal employees have better access to health care than many Americans (and better access than many Americans will have under ObamaCare). They also have ten choices for their health care providers (most people get only one choice from their employer; only 1% of employers offer their employees more than three).
Second of all, as the CJ article goes on to note, members of Congress really have "the federal plan-plus," because of their access to military hospitals and to special doctors on Capitol Hill.
The article goes on to note Baron's change in his health care plan:
Hill had been on his wife’s plan because it was better than the federal employees’ program. But after Betty Hill retired this year from teaching in the Seymour, Ind., school system, he signed up for Blue Cross/Blue Shield under the federal plan.
Hill spokeswoman Katie Moreau said that under Betty Hill’s retirement health insurance plan, the cost of adding the congressman “was astronomical.”
As for his new plan, “he’s had no experience with it. He’s a pretty healthy guy,” Moreau said.
So, the next time that you see Baron Hill, ask him about his Congressional health care plan and how he gets more health care choices than more than 99% of Americans, plus ready access to special doctors and military hospitals reserved for veterans and active members of the armed forces.
He won't have his wife to hide behind this time.