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New GOP Rep. Andy Harris gets irate over lack of instant health insurance

Yes, Dr. Harris, newly elected congresscritter and anesthesiologist, has gotten what my Dad would call a “Rude Awakening”.  From Steven Benen’s Political Animal post at Washington Monthy, we get the following exchange related by someone who was there:

“He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. […]

“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

Harris, a Maryland state senator who works at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and several hospitals on the Eastern Shore, also told the audience, “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed,” his spokeswoman Anna Nix told POLITICO.

Steve adds:

Harris wants to know “what he would do without 28 days of health care”? I don’t know, Andy, what have tens of millions of Americans, including millions of children, done without access to quality health care for years? Why are you entitled to government-subsidized health care, but they’re not? What will those families do after you repeal the Affordable Care Act? Wait for tort reform to magically cover everyone?

What an embarrassment.

{{RD pauses}}

I’d laugh but I don’t think this is funny.  I can just imagine someone like Harris expostulating loudly over the fact that some poor woman whose family is recently unemployed and can’t pay for COBRA couldn’t afford to pay the bill for the epidural she had during childbirth.  It’s not funny that his 5 kids will not be covered until February.  It’s not funny that he’s been sheltered from the reality of the probationary period that everyone I know has to suffer through.  It’s not funny that some district in Maryland will be represented by a dolt.  And it’s not funny that he will presumably learn nothing from this, given his party affiliation.

Satisfying, but not funny.

41 Responses

  1. Some people can’t be taught.

    • You just have to get their attention first

      • That dude is going to need massive amounts of ritalin before we get his attention. And that’s a controlled substance that you can only get in 30 day doses that you have to get an evaluation to obtain.

        Which he won’t be eligible for until February.

      • A mule trainer is asked how he is able to train such stubborn animals and he says, “Let me show you.” He then grabs a 2 x 4 and whacks the mule upside the head with it. “First, you get their attention.”

        • Are you suggesting that we all grab a 2×4 and whack him upside the head? ‘Cos I admit that that would be satisfying but it would likely land him in the hospital. And since he’s not insured, we’d have to pick up the tab for the deadbeat.

      • thats why i carry a big stick 😆

  2. Maybe they’ll screw up his paperwork or misprocess his claims.
    Or better yet, make him sign an afadavit (sp) swearing that all those kids are his and requiring him to submit documentation proving it and that he pays for more than half of their support. You know, little dignifying procedures like that.
    So much fun.

    • He must not know that most state jobs have a six months probationary period before they get benefits. I always check the coverage on day of hire with no waiting period, but it costs a premium penny, but it also reduces the ‘it happened at work’.

      Funny how a doctor would be busy opposing the Public Option, but he WANTS TO BE COVERED!

      OK, we must show the ‘Socialism’ vid… ‘Wha, I want my Govmin Insurance/Public Option…!’

  3. Asshat.

  4. Yup, he’s a dolt alright which is why I voted for Kratovil..who had proven himself to have a mind of his own – one that didn’t reflect Obama’s thinking.

    I told you I never seem to pick the “winners”.

  5. It gets even worse. I just caught the tail end of an interview with Andy Harris on WBAL’s Ron Smith show. WBAL is the only news radio station in the Baltimore area and is completely all Republican all the time. (My BIL refers to it as WBOB because the had Bob Ehrlich the Republican that unsuccessfully challenged Martin O’Malley for Governor on the air so much.) Anyway, Harris was talking about the Freshman Orientation and noted that the first big vote for them will be the Debt Ceiling vote. He wants to tie the Debt Ceiling Vote with the repeal of Obamacare.

    The only good news is that Dems control the state so totally, that Dr. Harris’ district may not exist or be quite so Republican friendly after redistricting. (Of course, he is like the “Mayhem Guy” on the Allstate commercials, so he can do a lot of damage by then.)

  6. Why do I have to wait 11 months…when I turn 65…to get covered by Medicare after all my unemployment and COBRA benefits ran out? Here’s a number to call, Dr. Harris: 1-800-BOO-HOO

  7. I’ve re-read this post three times. But, it still doesn’t make sense. It SOUNDS like you are saying that this new Congressman wants a special program that would let him buy into his government insurance before it kicks in…. Is that right?

    What’s he got against COBRA …. it’s good enough for the rest of us, isn’t it?

    And then (it seems — but I MUST be wrong) this guy wants to repeal the pathetic health insurance plan? I think I’m going to go lie down in the street and take a nap.

    • Harris was just elected to congress. so he goes to his “So, you’re a new employee of the federal government?” orientation program and discovers that his health care insurance from us, the taxpayers, does not kick in until February, leaving himself and his 5 kids uncovered.
      Thus begins the whining about the unfairness of it all and “how come I have to wait? I never saw anything like this before. why can’t I buy into the government policy now?”
      This idiot ran on repealing the health care insurance bill, which no one likes anyway because it doesn’t have the public option that Harris himself would be fine and dandy right about now, but that’s besides the point.
      He’s just stupid. but then again, he did run as a Republican so there’s that. not that it’s an excuse but it does explain a lot.

      • ‘Give ME the Public Option, I didn’t want you to have…WHAAAA!’.


        Patients Pour into Free Health Clinic…. I am sure they will take Andy ‘GOP’ Harris!

      • He is Dr. Harris. It’s scary that this guy has the license to practice medicine.

  8. I think it is funny. He has to enroll like every other federal employee and his bennies start like everyone else. He needs to be reminded that he just a federal worker that got elected instead of hired. If he does not like it he can go back to being Dr. Harris. I wonder if the hospital(s) where he practiced were glad to see his high handed, demanding, know it all butt go? If the Republican leadership was smart they would tell him to STFU and that they all have to wait a month including him and all of his dependents.

    • I keep saying lets take away the insurance from all the congress people and then, maybe then they will stand up to President Obama and demand that one of the OPTIONS be a Public Option!

    • I bet part of it is being a doctor. No offense to the good, empathetic doctors, but the profession seems to attract a large number of people who are convinced that they are smarter, wiser, and more special than anyone else.

      • I think he is used to having really good medical benefits and never gave a crap about anyone else. Also isn’t he an anesthesiologist so he rarely dealt with sentient patients and hear their problems or have empathy with them. Lastly my understanding is that Congresspersons select from the full menu of federal employee health benefits. Some cost less with higher deductibles and some more. But they are fantastic benefits and I would not be alive today without my significant other retired fed health insurance. These plans should be open to every citizen if we are not going to have single payer.

  9. OMG! The Beatles are at iTunes!!!

    Kiernan Shipka is the best screamer ever.

  10. considering congresspeople have their own plan…

    I don’t see how this connects to Obamacare. Exactly.

    And doctors are indeed covered by their insurance on the first day of work.



    It would make sense if Obamacare changed the delay in coverage for average people.

    On a scale of 1 to 10 on my outrage meter this is about a 0.05.

    • Follow the link to Benen’s page. Come back when you’re done. We’ll wait.
      For the record, we’re not outraged. I think the word is schadenfreude.

      • LOL

        I went to Benen first, then to politico. No need to “wait” on me.

        Schadenfreude is fine and dandy, when it makes sense.

        To ME, this doesn’t.

        Simple!!!!! (I could see if Obamacare addressed the issue this dude is complaining about, but it doesn’t, right? No? Under the new law people still have to wait for their coverage to kick in?)

        In OTHER news, Jon Stewart suggested that if Bush is a war criminal, Obama might very well be one too. MSNBC edited that part out and didn’t allow it to air.


        • Um, I’m not sure you’re getting it yet. (I’m going to be generous and give you the benefit of a doubt)

          The clueless congresscritter, like many of his Republican brethren (and blog commenters who pretend to not understand that they are commenting on a *liberal* blog) has no real understanding of the real world and the frustration of average Americans who are forced into these less than adequate health care insurance policies.

          That’s why they obstruct people who actually care about such things and want to craft good legislation that fix the problems. Which Obamacare does not.

          Now, why don’t you skedaddle and haunt some blog that thinks public education is a commie plot.

          • Slow down sister.

            I “get it”. I just don’t agree.

            Is that possible?

            “and blog commenters who pretend to not understand that they are commenting on a *liberal* blog”


            I know where I’m at. I was one of the few people sticking UP for this blog at corrente during the primaries.

            “has no real understanding of the real world and the frustration of average Americans who are forced into these less than adequate health care insurance policies.”

            Because he’s an anesthesiologist? Maybe?

            But if I’m being told to “skedaddle” I have NO problem with that. The internet is a big place.

            PEACE OUT myiq2xu!

          • That’s right. Calm yourself, Little Lady. LOL. This guy must have a death wish.

          • Hey, I didn’t ban him/her.
            But it’s not the first time Willyjsimmons has twitched my tin foil antenna.

          • WillyJ has been here a long time and he ain’t no wingnut.

          • Hey, I didn’t ban him/her.

            Do you even know HOW to ban people?

        • Great Somerby post, Willy!

          I love the way he describes the “pseudo-liberal” fans of Maddow and Olberman as the other side of the coin from Limbaugh fans.

          Same, but different.

          Quite amusing to read the parts of the interview that Maddow chose to cut from her show! Especially the one where Jon says if one claims Bush is a war criminal, then one must admit Obama is, too, since very little has actually changed. Smart guy, our Somerby.

          Thanks for posting that link!

  11. Rangel was found guilty of 11 ethic violations.

    • I read 12.
      It doesn’t matter. He’s unlikely to be expelled. What he did was not criminal and no worse than what Tim Geithner has done.
      Eh, pay the fine, hire a better bookkeeper, move on.

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