Tea Party Congressman Elect Asks What’s Taking His Government Health Care So Long

It was noted, often with irony, that a large number of the people that would show up for Tea Party rallies denouncing government health care reform as a form of socialism were older, and often on Medicare or Medicaid.  The “health care for me, but no one else deserves it” theme pushed all through the election, inspiring many who showed up at the polls and voted in the new, ultra-conservative House members that will soon be seated.

But now the very Tea Party candidates who ran against government health care are starting to complain.  But this time, they are asking why their own government health care plans aren’t kicking in fast enough.

Via 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 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.


I have a great idea to cut government expenses.  How about this — if you ran on a platform to repeal health care reform, you have to bring in and pay for your own insurance!  It would save the government money and you won’t be compromising your “principles.”

It may not make much of a difference in the deficit, but at least these new congressional folk could put their money where their mouths are.

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Sheri Bender-Schongold
Sheri Schongold6 years ago

What a crybaby. Let him try going without insurance like a good portion of the USA and then when he can't get help, he can cry. He can find a way to go out and get insurance (he has the standing and the money not to be declined) which the rest of us don't. If you don't like what is going on, don't get on the boat. Stay on shore till you understand what you are getting.

Everett L W.

Along the "give them their own medicine" line, there is this, and it might actually improve the quality of politicians we get. First, to enter public office, all private wealth would have to be completely sealed off. From day one in office, all politicians(and their families) would have to live on what they make in salary and benefits. Then, they would have to give up all retirement benefits of any kind that they have, and live off of Social Security and what they could put into their retirement accounts while living off their salaries. We, the public, would contribute a proportional amount to what they contribute while they are employed by us, to give them a reasonable retirement. Of course, all such payments would cease, the minute they left public office, and they would only receive, at age 65, what would be proportional to their actual service. Of course, they would receive whatever Social Security and Medicare that they vote for the rest of us. Of course, if they are below 65, they would have to seek health insurance just like the rest of us, with whatever precondition bias that law would allow. Number one, few wealthy people would be willing to take office, and those who did would not stay long. Then, we would have actual, working class citizens in office. Most would actually find the above terms better than those they now live under, so finding candidates would not be hard. Since we have many well educated and experience people in the middle class, the government would

Everett L W.

If you are looking for logic in the Tea Party, you will need much patience and a microscope.

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman7 years ago


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle7 years ago

I LOVE IT!! THE HYPOCRISY OF THESE PEOPLE IS WONDERFUL. We the people, during the health care reform debate (not the health insurance reform debate), asked for the same thing. Why was not any kind of competition put into the bill? Public option? Medicare for All? Single payer? Nah!! We peons have to pay the big bucks for insurance to keep the corporations of America humming right along.

I'm an R.N., and I am ashamed of what my patients, sick people, have to go through. Not only are they sick; they are also worried sick about their bills. Nice system.

Russell D.
Russell D.7 years ago

If I had the money I'd take out ad space on the WSJ that lists all the GOP Congressman that are on government health care. I'd have stories of single mothers trying to raise their children but are hampered because she does not have access to the same health care as these junior congressmen. I'd talk about how those kids are talented and are this nations greatest resource but we are selling them short by not allowing them to grow up with the medical care they need to keep our nation competitive with the rest of the planet. It isn't just that we are nice guys handing out goodies. We need those kids growing up healthy, contributing to our work force and paying lots and lots of taxes that the Bush adminstration already spent.

Joyce N.
Joyce N7 years ago

Is it just me or has any one else seen a rise in the cost of their insurance? Mine goes up 20% in January and the company is doing away with the 20/80% plan. Plus no cost of living raises two years in a row and counting. Sigh, the poorer get poorer.

Oh, he needs to suffer like everyone else.

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M7 years ago

Here, here!!! Election day was a big disappointment. Too bad we will all have to pay the price.

Julia W.
Julia W7 years ago

Faye S & Patricia S,

It's *irony* to ask Tea Party candidates to pay for their own health insurance or go without rather than get the 'socialized medicine' they campaigned against. It's no doubt illegal, but it is funny.

Patricia S.
Pat S7 years ago

Faye S,
Good question. Why would you not allow it to all members of congress?