Dick Armey and “His” Tax-Supported Healthcare

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

If you missed this on friday, The Bill Moyers Journal you may want to at least catch his essay for this week. The rest of the show would do well to watch as well, on the Death of Conservatism, the State of Unions and a read of ‘Young Workers: a Lost Decade’.

September 18, 2009

A Bill Moyers essay on the protests in Washington, D.C. and whose funding opposition to health care reform.

Bill Moyers Essay Sept 18th

Gingrich became Speaker of the House and Armey the House Majority Leader.

But they did nothing about health care except let its costs soar while their corporate backers reaped huge profits. Since then costs have more than doubled and are escalating now at twice the rate of inflation. There were around 39 million americans without health care coverage then. There are more than 46 million now.

And Dick Armey? He retired from his government job to lead an advocacy group called FreedomWorks, which aims to torpedo healthcare reform once again. Curiously, they refuse to disclose their corporate donors. They say they want to protect against “aggressive attacks on companies who people have claimed are donors but aren’t even donors.” Got that?

But here’s the catch. Something these marchers who came to Washington at Armey’s urging could hardly be expected to know. For most of his adult life, their leader has benefited from just the kind of government, tax-supported healthcare he’s fighting to keep them from having, too.

When Dick Armey taught economics at the University of North Texas for 13 years his health insurance was administered by the state and supplemented by the taxpayers.

When he was elected to Congress, he was covered by the federal employees’ health benefit plan. And when he retired from Congress eighteen years later, he was insured by that plan until he turned 66 and Medicare, another government program, kicked in. All the time he’s been making some half a million dollars a year working for FreedomWorks and raking in lobbyist fees amounting to what he recently called “a darned handsome pile of dough.”

You can’t blame him for keeping his government health plan. It’s great. It gave him a lot of options, dozens of private insurers to choose from, and with eight million members in it, the federal government’s got the muscle to negotiate some of the best premiums and drug prices in the country. That’s not all. Taxpayers subsidize these federal health insurance plans by as much as 75% of the premium cost. Beneficiaries — including members and retired members of congress like armey — pay their share of the premiums with pre-tax dollars.

Not bad.

Now get this: Dick Armey thought so much of that federal health plan – the cadillac of coverage –that he tried to keep it as his primary carrier, instead of that other federal program, medicare.

Mr. Armey wanted an option. A government option. How about that?

But he couldn’t get out of medicare without losing his Social Security (they’re hitched together — you give up one, you give up both), so he’s suing to divorce the two … And now he says he’s happy to buy his health insurance on his own – and why not? He’s got that pile of dough. And there’s the rub.

Dick Armey is the epitome of those people with power and privilege who are insured against the vicissitudes of life, and want no government assistance for any suffering … Except their own.

And all those members of congress sitting there during the president’s speech last week? Joe Wilson, included. They; too have Cadillac federal coverage subsidized by tax dollars.

That’s no lie.

The pure hypocrisy of many, Armey, entertainers like Beck and much of FOX and others, who are rallying the citizen to oppose anything and everything should not even be brought into the public discussion, let alone on the public airways, it’s not debate, it’s propaganda!


  1. When you want something for yourself but shit on it and try to convince others they don’t want it “Greedy douchebag” seems like the best description to me

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