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Bizarre story of the day - Did a newly-elected House Republican really demand an immediate start to his government health benefits?

This is just odd:

A conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-Obamacare platform surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in.

Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Maryland's Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 - 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.

"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. (emphasis added)

Of course that's the liberal spin for this story -- Harris is demanding immediate health coverage, which is what the government "public option" would have provided for everyone ... and Harris OPPOSES GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE! HYPOCRITE!!11!!1!!1!!!

But being an anesthesiologist, there is no way that Dr. Harris could not have already known the answers to the questions he was asking. My instincts tell me that he was probably being sarcastic, or perhaps indulging in a Limbaugh-type "illustrating absurdity by being absurd" exercise. The story continues:

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 ... Nix said Harris, who is the father of five, wasn't being hypocritical - he was just pointing out the inefficiency of government-run health care.

It's also worth remembering that the senior Democrat staffers who wrote the Obamacare bill exempted themselves from its coverage mandates, presumably in order to keep the current "Cadillac" health insurance coverage now available to Congressmen, congressional staff, and high-ranking employees at government agencies ... which pretty much neutralizes any complaints by liberals about hypocrisy.

It seems to me that a lot of bitter liberals just got punked by a freshman Republican member of the House. Good one, Dr. Harris.



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Comments (10)

He's stupid. My employer d... (Below threshold)
epador:

He's stupid. My employer does the same thing.

And I suspect that more tha... (Below threshold)
epador:

And I suspect that more than a few of our employed or previously employed commentors have experienced the same. This anesthesiologist has only worked for hospitals or very rich private practices. He has no clue what the real world (or family phycicians) has to put up with. I think this "punk" falls flat. Whether you consider that flat on the face or ass is inconsequential.

Gaps in coverage between jo... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Gaps in coverage between jobs may be a good place to look at once we scrap Obamacare. Healthcare and health insurance do need to be reform but nowhere near how Obama did it.

Solving one small problem by creating multiple bigger problems is not a good approach.

Hate to tell the good docto... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hate to tell the good doctor, but all the times I took on a new job, health coverage didn't kick in until you'd been on the job for 30 days.

Seems one of the ways that insurers keep costs down (all the freaking paperwork on new hires) - is to have a waiting period.

For some odd reason (in a NORMAL economy) - new hires have a disproportionate propensity to quit after a few days as 'the job isn't what I thought it was'.

I'm almost 60 yo and every ... (Below threshold)
T Slate:

I'm almost 60 yo and every job I've had (which had health insurance beenfits) required the same 30 day waiting period. I recall one or two that required a 90 day waiting period.

This guy sounds like a real idiot.

I'd love to live in his cod... (Below threshold)
John S:

I'd love to live in his coddled world. My new employer has a 90 day wait. And you're only eligible if you work about 300 hours in those 90 days. Since it's company policy to not hire full-time employees, I doubt I'll ever be eligible.

Sounds like a typical physician. Last checkup I had to refuse $4,000 in defensive medicine "tests" that I knew from sad experience that my wife's insurance would pay less than half. A physician has trouble understanding living on $250 a week.

The problem in this day and... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

The problem in this day and age with using sarcasm and irony to make a point is that the vast majority of your audience won't be able to discern the sarcasm nor the irony; they'll literally miss the point.

Illustrating absurdity by b... (Below threshold)
jester:

Illustrating absurdity by being absurd can really tweak liberals, and I love to see it happen. However, I find that this story illustrates once again that loosing Democrats have by their very actions redefined the term "Bitter Clingers". Now that's icing on the cake!

I don't think he was being ... (Below threshold)
James H:

I don't think he was being sarcastic. Dude has a wife and several kids, so naturally he's probably irate that the can't get his new workplace's healthcare plan for 30 days. Has the man not heard of COBRA? Or short-term health insurance?

He's a friggen physician. H... (Below threshold)
John S:

He's a friggen physician. He should know better than anyone he can forgo medicine for a whole 30 days. If he gets sick he can treat himself, for Christ's sakes. Hell, I didn't enter a doctor's office for a 35-year stretch. I survived...




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