Q: So my question is for you, and I know in the White House the stand which you're on has often been referred to as the bully pulpit. Why have you not used the bully pulpit to chastise Congress for having two systems of health care -- one for all of us, and one for them? (Applause.)That's exactly what was reported by Indigo Red in the July 15, 2009 post, Executive, Congressional, Judicial Health Care Provider is Private Sector Insurer and again on July 18, Senate Democrats Reject Public Option for Themselves, and yet again on July 23, Is Insurer and Government Conspiring to Form Health Care Monopoly? .
THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, first of all, if we don't have health care reform, the gap between what Congress gets and what ordinary Americans get will continue to be as wide as it is right now. And you are absolutely right -- I don't think Carol or Paul would deny they've got a pretty good deal. They've got a pretty good deal. I mean, the fact is, is that they are part -- by the way, I want you to know, though, their deal is no better than the janitor who cleans their offices; because they are part of a federal health care employee plan, it is a huge pool. So you've got millions of people who are part of the pool, which means they've got enormous leverage with the insurance companies, right? So they can negotiate the same way that a big Fortune 500 company can negotiate, and that drives down their costs -- they get a better deal.
Now, what happens is, those members of Congress -- and when I was a senator, same situation -- I could, at the beginning of the year, look at a menu of a variety of different health care options, most of them -- these are all private plans or they could be non-for-profit, Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Aetna, or what have you -- they would have these plans that were offered. And then we would then select what plan worked best for us.
The government plans available to Federal employees, every single one of them, are available to the public right now and everyday of the week. If these previously private insurer plans are so good that Obama thinks we should all have them, why is he trying so hard to foist a different public sector health plan on the American people? Americans are just now beginning to figure it out - it's about power, centralized power in the hands of government bureaucrats preferably of the Socialist-Democrat bent.
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