Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bosma Now Ready To Repeal Life-Time Health Insurance Perk--Well, Sort Of

House Speaker Brian Bosma, who wisely ordered the end of the life-time health insurance perk for former House members elected in November and thereafter, went a step further today and signed a pledge to repeal the benefit by law. "I was taught as a young child that if you're going the suggest that someone clean house, you better start at home," Bosma tells the AP's Mike Smith. "We believe this is an important change that needs to happen to restore confidence in our institution."

Not to be outdone, House Democratic Leader Pat Bauer seconded Bosma's pledge, ensuring that whoever controls the House next year, the health care benefit for retired lawmakers will be buried for good. But Bauer couldn't pass up taking a swipe at Bosma in the process. "Basically what it (the GOP event) is is puffery for what's already been done," he said.

At least as far as the House is concerned. Bosma's pledge does not include the benefit still enjoyed by senators, even after the longest serving Senate President Pro Tem went down in flames earlier this month to a complete unknown.

And there's this little tidbit from our friends at Taking Down Words, which is reporting that J. Murray Clark, former state senator, state GOP chairman and partner at the prestigious Baker & Daniels law firm signed up for the lifetime health insurance benefit after stepping down from his Senate seat late last year. And all I have is a lousy, single policyholder plan with Anthem that carries a $2,500 deductible with very high monthly premiums and plenty of co-pays and exclusions.

It used to be that you had to be poor to get a handout from the government. But living in Indiana you have to be rich like the Simons, Irsays or even the Clarks to qualify for public benefits. Things aren't like they used to be. That's for sure.

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