U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham today signed on as a cosponsor of the Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act (CHCSA). The legislation would enroll all seniors into the same health care plan as Members of Congress and federal employees, the Federal Employee Health Benefit program. (FEHB) http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/
"Our goal is to save Medicare from bankruptcy and ensure seniors have affordable, high-quality health care -- a crisis President Obama has only made worse during his time in office," said Graham. "Allowing seniors access to the Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) program, which Members of Congress and federal employees use, will give them more choices and lower their out-of-pocket costs. It's also good for the taxpayers because it will save the federal government $1 trillion over the next decade and reduce the unfunded liability of Medicare by $16 trillion."
The legislation was introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Graham joined Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) in unveiling the legislation at a Capitol Hill press conference today.
The Medicare reform legislation builds upon a Social Security reform bill (S. 804), The Social Security Solvency and Sustainability Act, introduced last year by Graham, Paul and Lee.
Graham noted that in 2010, federal employees could choose from among the 250 plans participating in FEHB, including 20 nationwide plans. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) enforces reasonable minimum standards for plans, ensures the health plans are fiscally sound, and enforces rules for consumer protection.
Under FEHB, there are no price controls, standardized benefits, or detailed guidelines for doctors or hospitals. All individuals within a plan pay the same premium regardless of their health status or pre-existing conditions.
"To get our nation's fiscal house in order we must address future entitlement spending," said Graham. "Our bill gets a handle on Medicare costs, which continue to escalate, and ensures the program is sustainable for future generations."