Obama to ‘Sign Up’ for Insurance Today

Valerie Jarrett just announced to the press that President Obama will “sign up for for Health Insurance on the marketplace by the end of today to lead by example.”

We can safely assume if the site is “down for maintenance” today, it is not planned.

This AP photo is actually of Obama doing an event with Twitter.

This is actually not necessary for the president, as:

the President, while in office, has access to treatment by military hospitals and doctors as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. His family, as his dependents, also shares in this benefit. In the past, when Presidents have been sick or injured in office, they have almost always been treated at military hospital establishments. The cost of this treatment is borne by the taxpayers as part of the military budget appropriated by Congress.

As a federal employee, the president has a choice of about ten family plans, but it’s not clear how much, if any, President Obama pays out of pocket. TheLos Angeles Times:

The White House medical unit, with a staff of four doctors plus nurses and physicians’ assistants, is steps from his office. Treatment is free for Obama and his family (as well as for the vice president and his family).

The president’s coverage can change after he leaves office, though:

However, once the President leaves office, this may change. The President is afforded a set pension amount for his services, regardless of whether he served one or two terms. The amount of this pension, currently, is $199,700 per year, or a little less than 50% of an active President’s salary. The President receives this amount for life. The President is free at this point to choose privatized healthcare by paying health insurance premiums through the same carriers available to federal employees and will receive premium prices comparable to those employees. The President may also choose to purchase private health insurance from another company at his own expense. The one benefit the President and his family receive is the option to continue to receive treatment at military hospitals and healthcare provider locations, just as veterans are eligible for these services. This applies whether or not the President actually served in the armed forces, by right of being Commander-in-Chief for at least four years.

Still, it is good that the president will get to experience the joyfully simple and easy-to-understand, technically proficient web site that the rest of the country has enjoyed since day one.

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