As Congressman Benishek’s Wealth Rockets 60% to $5.6M, He Leaves Constituents Behind

Nurses say it’s no wonder he wants to make seniors pay thousands more for health care

MICHIGAN–(ENEWSPF)–October 9, 2012.  Registered nurses in Congressman Dan Benishek’s district said today a new report that his personal wealth has increased by 60 percent to $5.6 million explains why he has repeatedly voted to make seniors pay thousands of dollars more for their health care every year so that his fellow millionaires can enjoy more tax breaks.  

Benishek’s wealth far exceeds even the median estimated for his fellow politicians in the House ($746,000), according to the Washington Post analysis, “Capitol Assets: Congress’s wealthiest mostly shielded from effects of deep recession.”

“Dr. Benishek needs to understand that most of the seniors he represents are not millionaires like him – they cannot afford to pay hundreds of dollars more for their health care every month,” said Mark Hebert, a nurse who works at Chippewa War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie. “To those who say his wealth is none of my business, when my Congressman’s wealth makes him so out of touch that he votes in ways that hurt my patients, then yes, that is my business. Dr. Benishek, when you’re eating at fancy restaurants with your millionaire friends in Washington, please think of the seniors back home that you will hurt by turning Medicare into Vouchercare.”

The new analysis shows that Benishek’s personal wealth was $5.6 million in 2010, up 60 percent since 2009. That monumental increase comes at a time when most Americans are still trying torecover from the recession and worker wages are stagnating while CEO salaries rise. The median net worth of American families fell by 39 percent between 2007 and 2010, the Post reported.  

As the U.S. Representative for the Upper Peninsula and much of Northern Michigan, Benishek has voted to:

  • “Essentially end Medicare,”1 instead turning the program over to private insurance companies and giving seniors vouchers that won’t keep up with the rising costs of health care2;
  • Raise seniors’ health care costs by $6,400 a year while giving millionaires an additional $150,000 a year in tax breaks3; and
  • Protect his own enhanced health care benefits.4

The Michigan Nurses Association has an online petition urging “Dr. Dan” to keep his promise to protect Medicare, not millionaires. The petition, video and more information are available at

  1. Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11
  2. Long-Term Analysis of a Budget Proposal by Chairman Ryan,” Congressional Budget Office, 4/5/11
  3. Ibid; “Report of the Committee on the Budget, House of Representatives,” 3/23/12
  4. HR 6079, Vote #459, 7/11/12