By GLENN THRUSH, POLITICO
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 Marylandâ€™s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 â€“ 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.
â€œHe 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,â€ 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,â€.
â€œHarris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,â€ added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harrisâ€™s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.
Harris, a Maryland state senator who works at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and several hospitals on the Eastern Shore, also told the audience, â€œThis is the only employer Iâ€™ve ever worked for where you donâ€™t get coverage the first day you are employed,â€ his spokeswoman Anna Nix told POLITICO.
Under COBRA law, Harris can pay a premium to extend his current health insurance an additional month.
Nix said Harris, who is the father of five, wasnâ€™t being hypocritical â€“ he was just pointing out the inefficiency of government-run health care.
To read more, visit: GOP frosh: Where’s my health care?
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