…on the Maryland shore. Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly reads a POLITICO scoop, then exquisitely lays out everything that is wrong with newly-minted GOTea representative (MD-01) Andy Harris’s indignance that his government-run health care doesn’t start NOW, instead of in February:
It (sic) perfectly reasonable for Andy Harris, like all Americans, to want health care coverage. He’s a husband and father of five, and I’m sure he worries about his family losing their health insurance, just like everyone else.
The difference, in this case, is that Andy Harris is a newly-elected far-right congressman from Maryland. Yesterday, at an orientation session, he and his colleagues were told that their health coverage would take effect on Feb. 1, and Harris, an anesthesiologist who railed against the Affordable Care Act to get elected, suggested that’s not soon enough.
In the POLITICO piece Benen links to, Harris, according to a congressional staffer who saw the exchange, “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.” Benen speculates that the congressman-elect will likely rely upon COBRA from his previous job – yet another government-initiated (and run) program (passed under budget reconciliation, no less) which Harris, given his statements about the government’s ideal role in health care (i.e. – virtually none), would almost certainly have voted against had he been in congress when that vote occurred.
Like Benen, I also don’t blame the congressman-elect for wanting to make sure his family is covered without gaps in their health care. Harris is married and has five children; such a desire is so ordinary and understandable a thing to want for one’s family that it would hardly bear mention or be remarkable in any way, were it not for the twin facts that there are forty-four million Americans either uninsured or drastically underinsured, and that the person wanting that peace of mind will soon be, in his new capacity as an elected US representative, doing everything he can to make sure they – and the rest of us – do not enjoy the same privileges or even opportunities he and his family do…because it’s bad for business (or something). Benen sums up:
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?
Exactly. Ladies & gents, I give you the modern GOTea party in a nutshell: socialism for me (and mine), but not for thee. Hey, teabaggers – do you see what’s happening here? These people you worked your asses off to elect? Within months, they’re going to be just another set of run-of-the-mill politicians, not some crusading army for zero government (except outlawing abortion). Do you really want to keep voting for people who promise they’ll reform government, but who’ll in reality merely cut all your benefits while keeping their own – and their patrons’? Serious question.