16 November 2010

Where's my government-run health care?

Freshman Republican Congressman Andy Harris, who was elected on a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, is outraged that he's going to go a whole month before his government-provided health insurance kicks in:

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. The benefits session, held behind closed doors, drew about 250 freshman members, staffers and family members to the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium late Monday morning.”

All the more embarassing because he's a doctor, for Pete's sake. You'd think he'd have a better idea of how insurance works. Guess the dude's never heard of COBRA.  Also, it's pretty standard that this is how enrollment happens.  And it's idiots like this that want to repeal the PPACA.  Jon Chait provides the best commentary:

I think we finally have a working definition of a health insurance crisis--when a member of Congress has to go a whole month without coverage. Of course nothing's stopping him from using his own money and purchasing private health insurance in the individual market. Those onerous Obamacare regulations haven't taken effect yet so he can explore the wonders of a still-functioning private insurance market as God and Adam Smith intended.


  1. That was awesome. Some people are sooo stupid.

    We did COBRA for a 6 month period years ago, when the hubby was layed off from his job. Expensive as all get out - ($600 a month for a family of 4), but I will NEVER go without insurance. I saw it bankrupt family members when they decided to let their health insurance lapse and then were hit with a medical crisis.

  2. i think we'd all be better off if members of congress had to buy their own insurance on the open market.

    i imagine things would change real fast.

  3. "Guess the dude's never heard of COBRA."

    That was great.

    He might want to try praying he doesn't get sick or injured until his policy kicks in--which, quite frankly might be difficult--since as a result of that comment, it's likely several (thousand?) people are going to want to choke him to death.

  4. I hope that he has to beg his doctor to "provide documentation" for every claim for the next year, looking for pre-existing conditions. Not sure how the rest of the world works...but in NYS insurance law, if you have a lapse in coverage they will not pay for any preexisting conditions. And nys is liberal...

  5. Wow, isn't it ODD how he is outraged for himself, but evidently feels no sense of outrage about the millions of Americans who are uninsured either because they can't afford insurance, or, like me, are uninsurable on the individual market. (Luckily I currently have insurance via COBRA from my last job. My current job is contract so I get no benefits.)

  6. "i think we'd all be better off if members of congress had to buy their own insurance on the open market.

    i imagine things would change real fast."

    AMEN!! These bozos are supposed to work for *us*, so why is their insurance coverage so much better than those of the average citizen?!?

  7. Evidently Pelosi's statement about having to pass the bill to find out what was in it applies to most of congress, as the honorables will be
    thrust into the common pool in 2014
    along with the rest of the unwashed,
    with the exception of a few poorly
    defined leadership positions Eg majority leader, certain of the their
    staff and certain executive dept positions and the president.

  8. My small family went uninsured for our first fifteen years. Two bouts of cancer, three lumpectomies, a pair of thyroidectomies (one cancerous requiring radiation), countless mammograms with ultrasounds every couple years, dentist, regular kid stuff for our daughter and her various needs, the list goes on....

    I know how we did it: The upshot was bankruptcy in mid-2005. Who benefitted from that necessary step?

  9. Epitome of douche-baggery.


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