Folks on the Eastern Shore did not overwhelmingly support Andy Harris in his 2008 bid for office as 1st-District Congressman. Although the Baltimore native won the majority of his home area votes, he wasn’t known well enough on the Eastern Shore, where people aren’t considered “locals” unless you AND your parents were born here. Harris is a New York native.
Of course, Frank Kratovil wasn’t a home-grown boy, either, having been born in PG County and not moving to Queen Anne’s County until 1997, having been appointed as State’s Attorney. His advantage over Harris in ’08 was based upon his strong showing in Queen Anne’s County, and “hanging on” in other shore counties.
You’ll also hear that part of Kratovil’s victory came as a result of being endorsed by the previous incumbent, Wayne Gilchrist, the well-liked moderate Republican that Harris beat in the Republican Primary. Gilchrist decided to endorse Kratovil and many attribute that as giving Ktatovil the almost 3000 vote lead over Harris in the General Election. An extra boost was the high dissatisfaction the the Bush tenure and a refusal by many to put Republicans back in control of the White House.
In 2010, the economy had declined, people were out of jobs, conservatives were pounding “Obamacare” and issues like Gay Marriage, and the rise of the Tea Party changed the political climate. Doing what they do best, distorting and misrepresenting the facts, (don’t get me wrong…ALL parties do it, but the Republicans are true masters at giving only 10% of the truth), they kept attacking the President’s health care reform as being “Socialist”, ‘Un-Constitutional” and exorbitant, allegedly resulting in $100′s of billions in costs and additions to the Federal Deficit. The other 90% of the truth, which was withheld, actually showed a net savings over the next 10 years in health care and the resulting deficit. The Democrats’ failure to overcome the media blitz by the the Republicans resulted in net gains in the House and the Senate, giving the House back to the Republicans and cutting into the ‘super-majority’ of the Senate Democratic majority.
Harris’ prominence as a medical doctor, in opposition to “government-run” health care, have made him a lightning rod for attacks by supporters of the 2010 health care legislation. At a closed-door employee benefits briefing for new congressmen during the November 2010 freshman orientation, Harris was surprised to learn that the Federal employee health benefit plan would leave the new congressmen and their staffers without coverage until the following pay period, 28 days after
Blue Dog Dem who failed his constituents
inauguration! Concerned about this gap in coverage, he asked whether new government employees could purchase temporary coverage to fill this gap. “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed”, he said through his spokeswoman, Anna Nix. Through a spokesman, his defeated opponent, Frank Kratovil, seized upon this dialogue, characterizing the question as a “demand” for special treatment and for access to the benefits he opposed in the new law. Furthermore, “Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the Kratovil aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a “gateway to socialized medicine.”
In fact, 74 percent of workers with employer-sponsored health benefits are subject to a waiting period before getting coverage, including 31 percent of whom face a waiting period of 3 months or more, according to a 2010 survey of of employer-sponsored health benefits, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.
According to Harris, “the irony is that here, the federal government requires that all these employers provide” coverage, and yet “the federal government doesn’t provide it for its own.” He continued, “It should be changed so that the federal government should cover you from the first day you’re employed.”
But that doesn’t mean Harris thinks a public option is the solution to temporary gaps in coverage for ordinary working Americans transitioning between jobs.
"I want my health insurance...NOW!!!" Waaaaaaaaah!
Harris says, “I’m opposed to Obamacare. I’m opposed to a mandate of any kind on health insurance. This was purely about a technical question.”
Harris said he also found it odd that he wasn’t allowed to pre-buy insurance so that he could have it from day one. ”They won’t even sell you the insurance, even if it were out of your own pocket, which is strange,” he said.
Harris said he doesn’t know if he can cover any staff gaps through his congressional allowance. A call to the Office of Personnel Management for clarification on using member allowances for interim coverage was not immediately returned.
My goodness! How the mighty are upset when things don’t go their way. Welcome to the real world, Congressman. Working Americans have to deal with this every day in their lives. The difference is that, at the end of the day, you and your staff will be provided excellent health coverage, and nearly 40 million Americans, who pay for you and your colleagues’ coverage, won’t. That just seems downright wrong in my opinion. What do you plan to do about it? I assume nothing, as you have shown your attitude to be about any issue dealing with average Americans!