A chain email listing things we should demand of our Congress prompted me to see what taxpayers are funding beyond their $93 million in base salaries. According to the 2013 “Health Benefits for Members of Congress” study conducted for Congress, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program offers a seemingly excessive 230 different health plans, yet “participation rates among current and retired Members of Congress aren’t publicly available.” That in itself raises a lot of questions.
Their pensions are based on one of four different programs, and calculating the actual value isn’t exactly straightforward but they do get an enviable pension for the rest of their lives. Being $16 trillion in debt hasn’t interrupted their pension payouts. In the private sector, if you’re lucky enough to have a pension, unless the fund is insured, it remains at risk if the company goes bankrupt.
Congressional retirees get lifelong health care plus federal dental, vision and long-term care insurance programs and other benefits. Only 25 percent of large private-sector companies offer health benefits to retirees, and I don’t know many retired private citizens that can afford their own dental policy.
To me, congressional benefits seem more like entitlements.