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Congress makes money grab for its health care

Guest commentary

Allan Russell

Allan Russell

What a surprise that the Congress of the United States has used their energy and their time to on very short notice (Guess what they did):

1: Before taking yet another recess, they convened the House and Senate to draw and pass, immediately, legislation making it against the law for Congress to pass any law which does not apply equally to every citizen of our country, excluding no one, not even Congress and federal employees, and taking effect immediately upon passage.

2: Moved to immediately overhaul our tax system making it fairer, involving all citizens, special-interest groups and others, and stimulating our financial and jobs recovery.

3: Began immediate overhaul of our foreign aid policy, including reductions in/or total loss of aid to countries that participate in the support of terrorism anywhere and/or support any act or acts that threaten our well being.

If you guessed 1,2, or 3 you are totally wrong, so wrong. Our Congress and its associated federal governmental agencies seem, long ago, to have decided they are aristocracy and therefore no longer subject to the will of the common citizen. How else would/could you explain the disdain in which the common citizen/taxpayer is held in the hollowed halls of Congress? How else explain the rampant misuse of tax money for employee supplements, overly generous health insurance provisions, lavish trips, stonewalling investigations and the labeling by the president of concerns over government failures as phony scandals.

A case in point. Our Congress, in typical aristocratic fashion, just granted itself freedom from any impact upon itself and its employees from health insurance changes resulting from the implementation of Obamacare. As I understand it, those so insured will not have to change insurance and will not experience any out-of-pocket increase in cost of coverage because they will receive cash supplements to cover the increased costs of insurance — costs we, ordinary citizens, are already dealing with, and with more increases to come next year.

Who provides the money to pay these supplemental costs? We, the taxpayers of this our country, provide our tax money so the Congress may experience no inconvenience from changes. By the way has any one offered to pay your cost increases?

Sen. David Vitter has vowed to introduce legislation to cancel this new special provision for congressional employees. Please support this senator and others who may join him in righting this money grab. We can call and/or write them. Then next year we can use the ballot box to achieve a return toward respect for we citizens.

Allan Russell, of Leesburg, is a retired clinical social worker and therapist with the state of Georgia’s mental health system. He is involved in volunteer work in the metro Albany area.