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Americans are a lot like Andy Harris

By Adam Serwer

Rep. Andy Harris is a freshman Republican House member who ran against the Affordable Care Act. He wants his government subsidized health care NOW. Politico reports:

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".

"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.

As Steve Benen writes, it makes perfect sense that Harris would be concerned about health-care coverage for him and his family; the problem is failing to recognize how his politics affect the "millions of American families want the same peace of mind he's seeking."

For the past few years, Republicans have convinced themselves that they lost favor with the voters because of excess spending, not because of basic incompetence, reckless military adventurism and mismanagement of the economy. It's a fairy tale that allows them to double-down on their real ideological objectives, shrinking the welfare state and lowering taxes for the rich, all in the name of deficit reduction. The reality is that voters don't care about the deficit. Citing a recent CBS poll Ezra Klein pointed out yesterday that voter concern about the deficit, at four percent, comes a distant third behind health care (14 percent) and the economy (56 percent).

Republicans want to interpret November's results as the American people simply giving them another opportunity to take a chainsaw to the welfare state, but the reality is that the American people aren't really that ideological. The reason the apocryphal "keep your government hands off my medicare" sign resonates as a political meme is that it illustrates Americans' basic ideological schizophrenia: Americans like the idea of government tightening its belt, but only if it doesn't affect the government aid they're getting. The truth is that Republicans understand these divergent impulses and how to manipulate them much better than Democrats. Andy Harris, of course, actually embodies them. 

As Greg pointed out yesterday, voters aren't all that psyched about Republicans returning; they mainly wanted to punish Democrats. The economy is bad, so voters threw the bums out, not really caring about the fact that the new bums are even less interested in getting the economy back on track than the old bums. 

Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog.

By Adam Serwer  | November 16, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Health reform, House GOPers  
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Comments

Mister Sewer, it would be nice if you would provide even a scintilla of evidence to support your assertion that "Republicans want to interpret November's results as the American people simply giving them another opportunity to take a chainsaw to the welfare state".

In fact, from every single indication I have seen from House GOP leaders, they recognize that this election was a referendum on the Democrats and Obama. It was the voters yelling STOP to the Obama juggernaut. GOP leaders recognize that it was NOT an endorsement of the republican party. The election was NOT a mandate for the GOP and they have been saying as much.

I know Mister Sewer that you fervently pray that the GOP will over play their hand and scare the pants off of the public but it's not going to happen. Republicans learned their lessons and also thanks to the Tea Party have an effective check on their more undesirable tendencies.

I do appreciate your over the top rhetoric and caustic partisan bile though because I can recognize one of your posts from a mile away. Greg Sargent is a much more reasonable, rational liberal.

Posted by: BoiledFrog | November 16, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Adam

You are sidestepping the objections to Obama's health care law

The nation finds it to be too expensive -

The nation objects to taxing one group of people to give free or partially-paid-for health care to others.

In addition, Obama's health care plan represents a ticking deficit-time-bomb.

Tick Tick tick tick tick tick


AND Obama lied to the country - he said his plan would bring down costs and many people have experienced 20% increases just this year - all to pay for the benefits in Obama's plan. Obama had to know this. Obama LIED.

You are purposely and dishonestly twisting the issues around.


.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 16, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"For the past few years, Republicans have convinced themselves that they lost favor with the voters because of excess spending, not because of basic incompetence, reckless military adventurism and mismanagement of the economy."

You forgot about all of the scandals: Larry Craig/ Jeff Gannon / Mark Foley / Bob Ney etc, etc. Given that this, "Culture of Corruption," took place in the party that billed itself as the, "Adults," with "Family Values," it added up to a loss of credibility for the Republican Party.

In short, people started realizing that the GOP stood for nothing. All their talk about values, morality, a humble foreign policy and fiscal conservatism began to look like snake oil and often enough, fear mongering.

The same thing applies to the health care debate. We were told to fear the creeping evil of socialism embodied in the Democrats health care bill, even though the bill was very similar to Romney's plan and Bob Dole's plan from the nineties. Heck, the most vilified portion of the health care was the Individual Mandate - an idea that originated with the Republicans!

Republicans like Andy Harris tried to, literally, scare up votes by demonizing "Obamacare." It worked, but it was all lies and fear mongering. The problem, as Andy is no doubt finding out, is that Andy now has to keep the lie going. If those that voted for him realize he was conning them they will begin to question his veracity. That might prompt them to remember that the GOP really doesn't stand for anything other than getting and retaining power.

Posted by: HansSolo | November 16, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

This guy needs to become a poster child for the Dems, and right NOW.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 16, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I guess it depends on what the definition of "uninsured" is. If it's
the rest of us, health care is a privilege. If it's Andy Harris,
health care is a right.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | November 16, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

basic incompetence, reckless military adventurism and mismanagement of the economy

WOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO


I suppose you have read about all the things Bill Clinton did with the economy.

I suppose that managing two wars with a wartime economy for you amounts to "mismanagement"

AND I suppose that defending this nation against TERRORISM AND BOMBING AND DEATH TO INNOCENT PEOPLE IN NEW YORK amounts to "reckless military adventurism"

Your comments are offensive

Your comments are disrespectful to every man and woman who has given their lives in defense of this nation.


Go away,

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 16, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I laughed out loud this morning when I saw the reports of this story. The hypocrisy of Representative Harris and his tea-bagger brethren is breath taking.

It does not surprise me Representative Harris feels entitled to health care. Like so many of the anti-working class, racists and nationalists dominating and controlling the Republican Party, the austerity taking place in this country should only effect working class people such as myself, and not blue-blooded, well-born, Calvinist elites like himself. The austerity Republicans like Harris proposes should only effect the "darker" peoples, and the working class whites, whom he has manipulated into voting for him. But he and his family must be safe from the possibility of going bankrupt due to a health condition during his 30 day window.

Welcome to the club Representative Harris, sucks doesn't it?

Posted by: TonyBuontempo | November 16, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Adam

I find this posting disrespectful.

Have you EVER run for office? Running for Congress involves basically a year-long volunteer position, without know whether one will win or not.


The fundraising has to start long ago - a year or more. And then the campaigning takes hours and hours over months. Remember there are contested primaries too.


All this is volunteer work. One has to endure attacks and half-truths constantly.

This candidate could not work during this time - or if he did work it was certainly on a reduced schedule, part-time and with drastically reduced income.


NOW he is elected - and he has to wait two more months before getting a paycheck.

YOU think his bills stop?? Look, he isn't working right now. He is on Capitol Hill, getting ready to take office - all time without pay.


NOW you are making an issue that he is going to work ALL January without benefits.


The guy has probably already lost an entire year of salary - and the expenses for him and his family have not stopped, not for one day.


But YOU think that he should keep on giving.

The truth is not making people could endure that kind of impact to their families' budget. Which means if they do run for Congress, they really can not afford to do that.


Your entire posting here is disrespectful.


.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 16, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Over at dkos they have a response from his spokesman.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

Of course his spokesman tried to slap some lipstick on this pig, claiming that Harris:

"... wasn’t being hypocritical – he was just pointing out the inefficiency of government-run health care."

That would be as opposed to the reality of employer-provided health insurance everywhere that requires a waiting period before coverage begins.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 16, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Dems may get serious about actually holding this vote on extending just the middle class tax cuts:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/labor_big_white_house_dem_lead.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 16, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who believes the gas that anesthesiologist, Dr. Harris is passing must be comatose!

His spin doctor, Anna Nix, even tried to cover up the smell by claiming that "he was just pointing out the inefficiency of government-run health care."

Yeah, right! She's obviously been inhaling too much laughing gas. The so called "government-run health care" that Dr. Harris thinks is so inefficient is provided through private insurers, not the government.

If Dr. Harris really wants to have efficient health care, he should vote to extend Medicare, with its lower administrative costs, to all Americans.

And instead of trying to repeal "Obamacare", he should vote to repeal the enormous handout that Bush-era Republicans gave to drug companies by passing the "we pay any price" Medicare prescription drug benefit law (written by drug company lawyers).

Posted by: divtune | November 16, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca

You give up a year of income to run for office

And then win - and have to wait for two more months just to get a paycheck


And then be told that you have to wait another month for benefits.


You do that - and get back to us.


Adam - same applies to you.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 16, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"... wasn’t being hypocritical – he was just pointing out the inefficiency of government-run health care."

That would be as opposed to the reality of employer-provided health insurance everywhere that requires a waiting period before coverage begins.
----------------------------------------------
That would also be opposed to the reality of waiting until you're 65 because you can't get any insurance.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | November 16, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Andy Harris motto:

"People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want, that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash

Posted by: 12BarBlues | November 16, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@12Bar: "If it's Andy Harris, health care is a right."

I am shocked, shocked, I tell you, to discover gambling taking place in this establishment.

I wonder if Andy Harris also asked where the safe was. "You know, the safe for our kickback money? From the lobbyists? Right?"

@suekzoo: "This guy needs to become a poster child for the Dems, and right NOW."

Yup. He hasn't even been sworn in and already he's working hard at losing to whoever wants to run against him next cycle. Idiot. And dude's an anesthesiologist!

That being said, the Democrats need to be a little introspective regarding the quality of their candidates. If Republicans won 60 seats with folks like Andy Harris running, how wretched did the opposing Democrats have to be?

BTW, when have Republican's actually taken a chainsaw to the welfare state? I've seen the occasional snip-and-trim, with the help of Bill Clinton, ala Welfare Reform. But what else have they actually done? Where have Republicans cut the welfare state? I know where they grew it--Medicare Part D. But cut? I must have missed that.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 16, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

@12Bar: "That would be as opposed to the reality of employer-provided health insurance everywhere that requires a waiting period before coverage begins."

Indeed. I was just thinking that: Andy's excuse would be entirely credible, except, as an anesthesiologist, he has to know that privately run insurance is no more efficient. And many small businesses offer no coverage at all (they can't afford it) so, by contrast, the government payed-for healthcare (it's not even government run healthcare, technically!) is certainly better than the increasingly common private-sector nothing.

Re: the Andy Harris motto. The folks who voted for him were, in many cases, the one's telling him that they didn't want government run healthcare. So I'm not sure Ogden Nash applies in this case. He's not telling them, they're telling him.

He just disagrees. At least, for himself.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 16, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Philly Fed says unemployment will be 8.7% in 2012. I think that's borderline general upheaval. Unless Obama can seriously reconnect with the voters, I'm guessing we'll end up with either a President Romney or somebody none of us have heard of before. I also wouldn't put the Repubs as a shoe-in to win the Congress. If the economy stays this bad for two more years, I think people will be voting out of pure spite.

Posted by: klautsack | November 16, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin,

I can't imagine what you are saying in your posts other than some sort of vague defense of Andy Harris. Why?

Harris is like a lot of entitled folks, he is shocked when HE is the one treated like millions of other Americans. It all depends on whose ox is being gored.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | November 16, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to announce a contest. Let's all guess what RedTeaRevolution's name is going to be next. Every guess costs $1 and the winner takes all. My guess is: SheepEye. Here's your $1 (hand extending invisible money a la the invisible ice-cream cone guy from Sesame Street).

Posted by: klautsack | November 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Anaother day, another piece of propaganda from a reliable source: Mr Serwer.

Today's agit prop features, prominently I hasten to add, the words of a "congressional staffer who saw the exchange."

I will point out another of Mr Serwer's past rhetorical sand bags: "If this is accurate".

There's the dose of salt we must take. We are to believe the words of an unnamed witness, whose words were then re-cast by whoever from politico (Glenn Thrush) wrote the story. the entire thing is then handed to us, third hand, by a back bench partisan hack. did we even get the whole politico story? Of course not.

yeah, that's just soooo believable, right?

As I have noted on these threads repeatedly, the recent vote was not FOR Republicans. It was AGAINST Democrats. Since Mr Serwer just doesn't seem to understand this it is, imho, fair to conclude that he is at the denial stage of the Kubler-Ross grief process.

Congrats on getting past anger pal. I think you're doing better than, oh say, Spencer Ackerman!

And how many of Mr Serwer's erstwhile readers here bothered to follow the link to the Politico piece? If they do, why they might actually find a quote from Mr Harris himself, "“This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed,”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45181.html#ixzz15SwxApOQ

but of course such a quote is, at the least, exculpatory. It certainly doesn't fit well into Mr Serwer's axe grinding process, so the heck with it, leave it out and launch a silly rant about the Republicans instead.

yeah, denial is ugly if it is sustained. But it is more comforting for folks like Mr Serwer than the next phase: bargaining.

I look for all manner of angry columns demanding that the Democrats show spine! No stinking bargaining phase here!

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 16, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@12BarBlues: "I can't imagine what you are saying in your posts other than some sort of vague defense of Andy Harris. Why?"

I'm defending Andy Harris? In what sense? Other than his being another self-interested, screw-the-voters politician? I guess that's a defense. Sort of. But not really.

@klautsack: "Let's all guess what RedTeaRevolution's name is going to be next."

WaPo Troll Hunter makes that a pointless game for a lot of people.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 16, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Many employers impose a 90 day waiting period for coverage to begin. Often this is because they also have a 90 probationary period for new employees.

Some employers have first day coverage.

So the question is being asked: what exactly is the reason for the delay anyway? Is it because Mr Harris is a probationary employee and must pass his first 90 days to be considered "permanent"? Of course not.

The point that the liberals here are missing is quite clear: it is completely possible that an enormous, expensive government just cannot seem to get its act together well enough to deliver basics in a timely manner. A conservative would be at pains to point out such inefficiency because it advances the agenda: don't rely on the government because it is both expensive and inept.

The Politico story tells us that Mr Harris asks the key question: why does it take 28 days? but gosh, will ya look at that, we don't get to hear the answer!

Shocking, I know. And what is the answer Mr Serwer? Do you know? Glenn Thrush doesn't know either, or he knows and, like you, omitted a little detail because it doesn't advance the liberal agit prop's basic theme.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 16, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@skipsailing: "This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed.”

Well, he's been very lucky. Most private employers I've worked for didn't offer insurance (at least, not at first). I've either had to cover my own insurance, or go through a similar waiting period before I was covered. I now work for county government, and I had to wait a month for coverage there, as well.

Lucky feller. And, really, brain-dead to start off complaining about the relative opulence our imperial politicians enjoy, perpetually insulated from the consequences of the decisions they make for the rest of us.

And it's been well documented that (a) congress people enjoy very good insurance and (b) did not want to sacrifice that insurance in favor of being obligated to use a public option designed for the general public, should such a thing pass. Which is, no doubt, one of the reasons it did not. As such, I don't think Mr. Harris's complaints (if accurately reported, which would not surprise me, based on my observations of politicians generally) take place in the real world. Which, again, given my observations of politicians, would not surprise me. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 16, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, 'Andy Harris' should be mentioned by name at the next State of the Union speech, right with the status of health care. As should that Texan, Barton (?), who thought BP was treated too harshly. As for that matter should Boehner along with a statement on the influence of lobbyists.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | November 16, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"Many employers impose a 90 day waiting period for coverage to begin. Often this is because they also have a 90 probationary period for new employees."

Why would a probationary period mean they shouldn't have insurance? What are they trying to avoid by not giving people insurance right away?

The answer is that they are trying to avoid the administrative time and expense incurred in signing people up if the person isn't going to be insured for very long. They are also trying to avoid people getting a job briefly just to have insurance coverage then quiting once they get their health care needs taken care of. Both the government and private companies have to deal with the former concern and if everyone were covered, the later would no longer be a concern.

Besides, let's assume the delays in private insurance are completely unrelated to concerns over costs. Here's a guess that the million and millions of people who have no insurance 365 days a year would happily wait 90 days if it meant they would have coverage thereafter. Focusing on the 90 days waiting for insurance from the government is ridiculous when they would have to wait indefinitely to get it from a private insurer.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 16, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@12BB: I didn't get the impression that Kevin was defending Harris.

Kevin: As an anesthesiologist, I doubt Harris has much interaction with patients on a day-in-out basis. More likely, his services are engaged in a more third party way. That does not excuse him being so obviously disconnected to the reality of our healthcare system. As many others have pointed out, waiting periods for coverage are quite normal for most people.

What I'd like to see is some of these newly elected reps who ran on a platform of undoing "Obamacare" actually eschew government healthcare coverage, and pay for it out of their own pocket. That would lend some credibility to their position.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 16, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I just don't agree with your characterization of Mr Harris's actions Kevin. They have been described by folks with a clear agenda so it is, imho, mandatory that we discount much of what is written about the "incident".

It is easy for Mr Serwer and Mr Thrush to purposely distort the situation. Neither offered the name of a witness. Neither bothered to note the answer to the question. Both are "journalists". Mr Serwer's politics are clear. I don't know Mr Thrush but it would be a good bet that he's a lefty as well.

so what we have hear is a single question, and a description from an unnamed source. This has lead you to conclude that Mr Harris was complaining about his perks and is therefore brain dead.

Based on this thin gruel I'll withhold judgement. The emotions are high, the press is not to be trusted and Mr Serwer has proved (to me at least) that manufactured scandal is just as useful as real scandal, as long as it tarnishes folks on the right.

I eagerly await Mr Serwer's essay about Chollie Rangel's woes. I'll settle for Mr Sargent's "analysis" simply because I can only hold my breath for so long.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 16, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

RedTeaRevolution @ November 16, 2010 11:48 AM wrote:
Imsinca

You give up a year of income to run for office

And then win - and have to wait for two more months just to get a paycheck


And then be told that you have to wait another month for benefits.


You do that - and get back to us.


Adam - same applies to you.
==== ===== ==== ===== ===== ====

I have been self-employed for many years, and actually learned to wait for months before I get paid, though my expenses are current. All I can say is the boy, Harris, is very selfish since I have yet to meet a doctor who does not expect payment right away.

As for what you, RedTeaRevolution, posted, it is the nonsense of one who has been protected by his employer all along.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | November 16, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

kevin: "And it's been well documented that (a) congress people enjoy very good insurance and (b) did not want to sacrifice that insurance in favor of being obligated to use a public option designed for the general public, should such a thing pass. Which is, no doubt, one of the reasons it did not. "

Actually, one of the proposals for the public option was to just use the already-established federal employee exchange, since it was already working and functioning well, had coverage for all the states, and excellent rates. There was/is no reason to reinvent the wheel.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 16, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Wait until this fellow learns that he has to wait 6 months before he can start contributing to his TSP (fed's version of a 401k).

I see that 37th has been banned and re-registered yet again. Perhaps the next Post contest could be: America's Next Great MIS.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 16, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

As a voter in the 1st Congressional District of Maryland, I apologize to all thinking Americans for foisting Andy Harris upon you. In my defense, I not only voted for, but did a little volunteer work for his opponent-- whose sign in my yard, incidentally, was vandalized by someone who was presumably Mr. Harris' supporter.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | November 16, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

dcgrasso1: I hope this incident is getting a vast amount of coverage in your district.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"The reason the apocryphal "keep your government hands off my medicare" sign resonates as a political meme..."

It's not apocryphal. Google it.

Posted by: bkfromencino | November 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"so what we have hear is a single question, and a description from an unnamed source. This has lead you to conclude that Mr Harris was complaining about his perks and is therefore brain dead."

We also have a quote from Mr. Harris' staff and from the man himself, which you were kind enough provide us via politico. Both of those additional quote comport with the story as told here, don't they?

If the point he was trying to make was that the waiting period is evidence of government incompetency then you know why didn't he ummm...say that?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, Mr. Harris didNOT give up"a year's salary." He's been a State Senator for 12 year, and while he did not run for that position this year, he continued to "serve" the people of his district and collect a salary. He's also an anesthesiologist with privileges in a number of Maryland hospitals, so he was not exactly lacking in personal financial resources.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | November 16, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"You give up a year of income to run for office"

Child, please. If Dr. Harris was in such desperate straits, he should not have run for office.

Don't you have a teatardlican blog you can infest with your drivel?

Posted by: Observer691 | November 16, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The wolf just got in the door, and already he is taking off his sheeps clothing.

"Tea Party" will become a synonym for "gullible". The wolves will keep doing what wolves do, the sheep will keep thinking the wolves are sheep, just like they are!

Posted by: plaza04433 | November 16, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry you missed my point ashot. Sad too. Let's try again:

A ninety day probationary period for new hires makes sense in my opinion.

but Mr Harris faces no such probation. He won, this is his job starting on the day he's sworn in.

Next, 28 days isn't 90. so why the delay? Mr Harris believes that it is because the government cannot respond promptly. We don't know what the two ladies he asked said in response to his question because Mr Thrush didn't believe the answer to be important enough to include in his very biased story.

That's my point: this isn't a standard probationary period delay. So what is the reason?

I'll state this once again: the answer to Mr Harris' question didn't make it into Mr Thrush's essay because it didn't advance Mr Thrush's agenda/narrative.

The normally insightful Mr Willis is prepared to heave Mr Harris under the bus wheels based on the descriptions provided by Thrush and repeated (after even more egregious "editing") by Mr Serwer. I see no reason to do that.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 16, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

A shot,

How do we know he didn't say exactly what you suggest? Again, all we've got is an unnamed source quoted by a biased "journalist".

sorry, no sale.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Skip-
I understand your point. I just don't think your point rebuts the broader point that Harris campaigned against government run health care, but now can't wait to get government health care.
It's a point without nuance (afterall, there was no serious discussion about all of us getting Congress's coverage), but I have little sympathy for republican cries about that given the lack of nuance in virtually all discussion over the health care reform bills.

I also don't buy that the point he was making was that the government is inefficient. Why wouldn't you say that right then?
As his comment regarding his prior job indicates, I interpret his comments to be from a concerned father/head of household who is worried about his family. It shows a lack of knowledge about how frequently Americans face this problem when they switch jobs. It also contrasts nicely with the far more serious problems millions and millions of uninsured Americans face on a daily basis.

By running heavily on wanting to repeal Health Care Reform, Mr. Harris is seeking to continue the problem faced by millions of Americans who are uninsured. All the reform measures proposed by Republicans help some uninsured get coverage, but they leave more out in the cold than the Dem plans.

And my other point still stands. Complaining about having to wait 28 days is a red herring when millions of Americans have been waiting indefinitely. Complaining about the government being ineffecient and forcing people to wait a month for coverage while so many go without any coverage only shows how out of touch some people are.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 16, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

A shot,

How do we know he didn't say exactly what you suggest? Again, all we've got is an unnamed source quoted by a biased "journalist".

sorry, no sale.

---------------------------------------

Why hasn't he said that then? Why did his spokesperson not indicate that he said that during the question period? You can choose to doubt whomever you want, but there's a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that Harris said exactly what Politico said he did.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 16, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

A shot,

How do we know he didn't say exactly what you suggest? Again, all we've got is an unnamed source quoted by a biased "journalist".

sorry, no sale.

---------------------------------------

Why hasn't he said that then? Why did his spokesperson not indicate that he said that during the question period? You can choose to doubt whomever you want, but there's a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that Harris said exactly what Politico said he did.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 16, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, you see this through the prism of liberalism. It boils down to this: conservatives=bad, liberals=good.

I don't read anything like what you imagine in this. And I remain distrustful of the writers who offered this. Mr Serwer is a highly partisan fellow. I don't Mr Thrush, but my goodness that's a mighty brief story. On what basis did he decide what to leave in and what to leave out? We just don't know and I just don't trust them.

Obama doesn't want to re litigate the health care debate. I do. Much of what you say about the "problem" facing America simply isn't worth a wholesale take over of the industry.

And to prove that congress cannot solve this problem let me turn your own words back to my point: you mention that insurance can be a problem when we switch jobs. Yet just a few years ago congress passed HIPAA. As in Health Insurance portability and accountability act.

did that act make insurance more portable? Based on your words I assume you would say no. So why should anyone think that congress, who gets it wrong regularly, would get this one right?

I understand the need to transfer money from productive people to not so productive people. I understand the need to deny that life is tough then we die.

I understand it, I just don't agree with it.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 16, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Red Tea Revolution, also known as SaveTheRainForest aka NowPostThis but originally known on the Fix, before being banned for spamming and such, as 37th & 0, or the Corner. Don't engage, just ignore. Incredible that his names change almost weekly, but his style of writing is consistent and repetitive, and easy to spot. Who does he want barred now? I just couldn't read far enough to find out....

Posted by: katem1 | November 16, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't see it through any such prism, what in my post caused you to come to that conclusion? At least I acknolwedged that Republicans had alternate plans and that they would have covered additional people. That's more honest that most people on either side are about the health care debate.

I can't really speak to whether or not HIPAA made health care more portable since I have zero experience with health care before HIPAA. I will admit that it seems unlikely that it made it more protable. It did make health care more expensive with the protections it afforded personal health information.

I understand your need to couch these debates in terms that are completely divorced from reality, but you'll have to understand my refusal to engage in such a debate.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 16, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

According to the 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation annual survey of employer-provided health benefits, most workers would be lucky to start a new job in Harris' shoes.

"Seventy-four percent of covered workers face a waiting period before coverage is available. Covered workers in the Northeast are less likely (64%) than workers in other regions to face a waiting period." the report reads. "The average waiting period among covered workers who face a waiting period is 2.2 months.... Thirty-one percent of covered workers face a waiting period of 3 months or more."

That percentage is even higher in West's old field -- health care -- where a full 86 percent of workers have to endure a waiting period that averages 1.9 months.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/study-most-workers-have-to-wait-for-health-insurance.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: HansSolo | November 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

it is a simple point: HIPAA failed to achieve the goal stated in its name. As proof I offer your very own words.

You do stand by them don't you?

Does it make sense to believe that congress, which has gotten so much wrong, got Obamacare right? I don't see that the track record would fill most people with optimism.

sorry if you find your own words divorced from reality.

And Mr Solo has made missing the point an art form.

the question isn't the existence of a waiting period. The question is why Mr Harris must wait. We don't know because even though Mr Harris asked the question, Mr Thrush, the "reporter" from politico on whose work Mr Serwer based his screed, didn't include it in his story.
Relevant facts are helpful. Sadly, those are missing in the otherwise fascinating report from Kaiser.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 16, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

So the guy gets a new job, which doesn't start until after January 1, 2011 and he has a problem with waiting out the 30-day "probationary period" for his benefits to take effect?

He needs his government-run, government subsidized health now? Don't want to take the risk of being dropped because of a pre-existing condition? Or unemployment, however brief?

Inshallah, his current carrier drops him, the new carrier denies him coverage because of a pre-existing condition Preparation-H can't cure.

Posted by: jade_7243 | November 16, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Skip-
I said HIPAA probably didn't make insurance more portable, I'm not sure what you think that proves. Was I claiming Congress has never gotten a law wrong? Was I claiming they never got a law wrong on health care?

Your argument appears to be that Congress has gotten it wrong on health care in the past so they probably did here too. That's not exactly a the strongest argument against health care reform that I have heard, but it certainly is an argument.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 16, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect to Sarah Palin, why does the GOP get stuck with all the retards?

Posted by: BurfordHolly | November 17, 2010 2:35 AM | Report abuse

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