Home of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees of New York
Watch out for the newest legislative bombshell called the Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act. It was introduced on March, 16th by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rand Paul, (R-KY), Jim DeMint, (R-SC) and Mike Lee, (R-UT). (S. 2196)
For starters it would open the FEHBP to the general public. That's the carrot to get the public to join the new program. But the devil is in the details.
The plan also calls for a gradual change in the eligibility age from 65 to 70 and means tests the healthcare expenses for wealthy seniors. That's for the public side of the plan. There is also agreement that under this plan health care costs would increase by about 24% for federal retirees.
Immediately, upon hearing of this plan, NARFE President Joseph Beaudoin, responded by declaring that "This is a kill-two-birds-with-one stone kind of proposal that would both bring down Medicare as we know it and threaten the stability of the FEHBP."
When asked, Senator Graham stated that "Allowing seniors access to the FEHBP, which members of Congress and federal employees use, will give them more choices and lower their out-of- pocket costs."
President Beaudoin quickly picked up on this highly misleading statement and being aware that the plan would not go into effect until 2014, criticized the senator's statement by pointing out that "As for the senators' notion that America's seniors should be in the same health care system as Americas elected officials, they seem to have forgotten that starting in 2014, members of Congress will no longer be covered by the FEHBP but will be in state-based health care exchanges."
This legislation has to be exposed for what it really is. Tell your neighbors, tell your federal friends and retirees, and tell your spouse and adult children to tell their senators to oppose this legislation and to exert their influence upon the other senators to do the same.
Now that you know the facts, what are you waiting for? Call, write, email, fax and make a personal visit to your Senators office. Click here to contact your representatives today!
Watch the video introducing the plan!
News link to recent story from federalnewsradio.com, click here!
A briefing document released by Senator Rand Paul acknowledges that moving seniors into FEHBP would raise the cost of coverage for federal employees. An individual federal employee "would be on the hook for $400 more per year of their own health care costs," the document states.