Andy Harris, until his election as a Republican member of the House of Representatives this fall, was a practicing anesthesiologist in Maryland and he was mad. He was so mad at the Democrats and Barack Obama at passing the Health Care Reform Act, one provision of which gives health care insurance to those previously unable to obtain it, that he decided he would run for congressional office himself. And so he put together a campaign almost singularly based on taking down what has become derisively known as Obamacare.
But Andy Harris didn't just drop out of the blue and into national politics. He was a known entity in Maryland, having served 12 years as a state senator and he had a proven track record of very conservative political stances. He voted against the creation of a state childcare tax credit; against a bill to reduce class sizes in public schools; and against a bill to create a cancer screening, prevention and treatment program. In other words, Andy Harris was against government action in health care, even at the state level. People, he advocated, should be responsible for themselves, not the government. No one, he said repeatedly, should be given government paid health care insurance. And so, sensing an opportunity, he ran for Congress in Maryland's 1st Congressional District in 2010. And Andy Harris won handily.
At an orientation meeting for incoming freshmen congresspeople shortly after the election, it was explained to him that his very generous, government furnished, health care plan for members of the House would not become effective until February 1st, 2011 - 28 days after taking office; and Andy Harris was incensed at that news. He stood up and told the lady who was conducting the orientation that the 28 day wait was ridiculous; that this was the only employer he had ever worked for didn't provide health care from Day One. How, he asked, would he protect himself and his family for a whole month, waiting for his health care plan to kick in?
And so Dr. Andy Harris goes to Congress without, presumably, health care insurance for himself and his family for 28 days, as he begins his quest to deny any kind of health care insurance to millions of people of lesser means, the same people who as taxpayers give him what he seems to think is his personal entitlement. The irony couldn't be more striking.
Dr. Andy, we weep for your misfortune.