A Maryland Republican elected this month on a fervent anti-Obamacare platform had the audacity to complain in a freshman orientation when he discovered his government health care wouldn't kick in until February. Andy Harris won election after repeatedly slamming his opponent, Democrat Frank Kratovil, for voting against Obamacare but refusing to commit to repealing it. After "surprising" his colleagues with his reaction in the orientation, he then asked if he could buy health care from the government to cover the gap, which, as a Congressional aide pointed out, is pretty much exactly the right he'd like to deny everybody else in America. Harris' spokeswoman said Harris's message was consistent: he was just pointing out the inefficiency of government health care. I say: what an asshole!

Commentarium (46 Comments)

Nov 17 10 - 7:31pm

It's called "sense of entitlement", and he's entitled. It ought to be good theater to watch this guy over the next few years. I figger he'll be good for more than a few absolutely dumbass remarks.

Nov 17 10 - 11:45pm

Why is Republican hypocrisy still considered newsworthy?

Aug 16 12 - 3:10pm

Because if we don't keep pointing it out, Republican hypocrisy will overshadow human sensibility.

Nov 18 10 - 12:46am

I have a modest proposal: anyone who is willing to go on record as being against health care reform goes on a registry, and becomes ineligible for any benefits they might otherwise receive from it. After all, if health care reform is really such a bad thing, you wouldn't want to subject yourself to it. Better to die earlier than allow someone you don't like to get credit for prolonging your life. Same thing with stem cell research: if you oppose it, you can't benefit from it.

Apr 19 11 - 9:52am

I love it!

Jun 04 11 - 5:44am

The problem is that those people who are against those programs like stem cell research and healthcare reform are counting on the people who are in favor of those programs being empathic human beings, who wouldn't bar someone from life-saving treatment just for having horrible political opinions.

The same motivations that drive people to be in favor of these programs is the same one that wouldn't let people needlessly suffer just for being selfish morons.

Nov 18 10 - 11:05am

This is same platform the Republicans campaigned on: denial of govt benefits for everyone but themselves.

Nov 18 10 - 12:14pm

So, how does Obamacare fix this gap issue?

Nov 18 10 - 12:24pm

He asked to buy insurance for a few months coverage. Obamacare forces you to be federally insured or else. Huge differerence Peter Propaganda Eater.

Nov 18 10 - 12:30pm
Rob Bright

"I have a modest proposal: anyone who is willing to go on record as being against health care reform goes on a registry, and becomes ineligible for any benefits they might otherwise receive from it. After all, if health care reform is really such a bad thing, you wouldn't want to subject yourself to it. Better to die earlier than allow someone you don't like to get credit for prolonging your life. Same thing with stem cell research: if you oppose it, you can't benefit from it."

I oppose Obamacare COMPLETELY and I agree completely with your proposal - with one caveat.

Don't make me pay taxes for your and everyone else's health care and I'll be more than happy to pay for my family's health care out of pocket (or purchase my own private insurance). If you will agree to that caveat, I will be more than happy to sign a waiver stating that I will not rely on the government (i.e. you and all other taxpayers) to pay for my health care.

That, my friend, is THE problem with government health care. They are forcing healthy taxpayers to pay for the health care of people that are not healthy (and many of them are NOT taxpayers). That is called SOCIALISM.

Apr 19 11 - 9:54am

What an American! You rock dude. Hey, did any of your loved ones collect social security? Maybe you ought to pay that back?

Jul 12 12 - 1:40am
This is ridiculous

" Hey, did any of your loved ones collect social security? Maybe you ought to pay that back?"

Hey, ever notice that Social Security is automatically deducted from your paycheck every month? If there were an opt-out clause for Social Security, I would gladly waive my "right" to receive it as long as I could keep more of what I earn every month. I can save for my own retirement, thanks.

Aug 12 12 - 2:37pm

I belive you can sign wiaver to be or not have it taken out your check and you will be off social security most teachers don't have it

Nov 18 10 - 12:31pm
Stupid Compromises

The problem is that health care is a right to life, and that term is already taken!!! Why is my right to life a for profit entity? My life is not a commodity that any other person should not be able to profit upon. it is my liberty, and mine alone!!!

Jun 04 11 - 5:46am

Yeah, it always bothers me that anti-abortion conservatives claim to be "pro-life" but also are against civil and human rights including the medical treatment that would save lives.

Nov 18 10 - 12:36pm
Anti Socialists!!!

Stop invoking Socialism!!!!! We have a great many socialist parts of our society that nobody complains about, from public schools to paved roads and highways. Yet nobody calls a politician a socialist because they want to pave roads! Nobody calls a politician a socialist when they hire more police officers! Stop with the Socialism crap, it is just a word that we have been thought to fear during the Cold War and now it is being used to make people afraid again!!!

Apr 19 11 - 9:56am

Jesus must have been a Commie.

Apr 19 11 - 9:57am

Privatizing prisons, war... I will die for my freedom.

Jun 04 11 - 6:07am

George Washington was from an incredibly wealthy family and he was one of the richest men in all of the 13 colonies. Jefferson had a very similar story, as he was also from one of the most prominent families in the colony of Virginia. These men didn't need public schools as they were of such great means that they could afford the greatest private teachers and schools in the world.

Lincoln, Ford, and Rockefeller were all of little means during childhood and were essentially "self-made men," but the question is, would they have chosen to go to school if they had the choice?

In any case, you are cherry picking by intentionally on pointing out a few great people that didn't attend public schools. You are completely neglecting all the great people who went to public schools were they obtained the educations that allowed them to go on to do great things.

Here's a link with a list of just those Nobel Prize laureates who attended Chicago Public Schools.


If that's just one city's public school alumni, think of all the other laureates who went to public schools and would surely called them "necessary."

As for the private sector, just look up the CREDO study of charter schools which examined student progress on math tests. It found that only 17% of charter schools actually perform better than the public schools of their same respective areas. Interestingly, 46% of charter schools do no better than their respective public schools and a whopping 37% actually do worse than public schools.

Nov 18 10 - 1:04pm

Amen to the above comment, the Cold War has been over for nearly 20 years, and people are still equating the term "socialist' with some sort of boogieman who is intent on "destroying America's liberty". How dare it be asked of the American people to help out their countrymen. It makes sense though, because anyone who's successful today is so based solely on the merit of their hard work, right?! They never profited from such socialist concepts as more easily accessible higher education, labor rights, clean water, etc.

The selfishness and stupidity of the Baby Boomers is just amazing.

Nov 18 10 - 1:05pm
Rob Bright

Some of us DO call public roads and public school socialism - because they are, as you have pointed out.

Nov 18 10 - 1:11pm
Rob Bright

Sorry about the multiple posts - the browser was hanging up or something - my posts did not appear and it looked like they were gone.

Nov 18 10 - 1:14pm
Rob Bright

"How dare it be asked of the American people to help out their countrymen."

It is not ASKED of the American people to help out their countrymen. It is forcibly taken at the point of a gun.

Americans in general are some of the most generous people on earth - even after high taxation rates. Charity is common amongst Americans.

I object to the use of force to redistribute ANYONE'S income.

Jun 04 11 - 5:34am

Taxes are not high, they are at the lowest levels since the Eisenhower Administration.

Most rich people don't even pay the high income tax rates because much of their wealth comes from capital gains, which is taxed at half of what the top income tax bracket is.

Income taxes are not "forcibly taken at the point of a gun," they are simply requirements to contribute back to the country what you've taken out of it. If you take more out of the country (i.e. make more money), then you pay more in taxes. If you take less, then you pay less.

As for people who don't pay any federal income taxes, those people don't pay only because they don't make enough money, but they do pay every other kind of taxes, from sales taxes, to property taxes, to excise taxes, to FICA, etc. Living at the level of income miniscule enough to not have to pay federal income taxes is a lot fucking harder than being a millionaire that complains about taxes going back to levels last seen under President Clinton.

Nov 18 10 - 1:16pm
Rob Bright

Now, let's have a little measuring contest.

10% of my after tax income goes to charity out of every pay check. Now, all of you socialist supporters, how much of your income goes to charity?

Jun 04 11 - 5:40am

Actually, people who are in favor of social programs are also in favor of taxes to pay for those programs. This means that some of their income will go to the government through taxation and then go to pay for those programs.

Those programs generally help the same groups of people that are often helped by traditional charitable organizations, e.g. the homeless, the disabled, the elderly, the poor, victims of crime, etc. Thus, by being in favor of social programs and the resulting taxes to pay for them, "socialist supporters" are contributing their income to others just like you are contributing yours to charity. They are simply using the government as an intermediary, kind of like how you might use Kiva or the March of Dimes or Unicef.

This means that the "socialist supporters" are no less charitable than you, especially if they contribute to charity AFTER they pay their taxes.

Nov 18 10 - 1:17pm
Rob Bright

And finally, none of you have responded to my caveat.

If I consent to not rely on the government in ANY way, shape or form for health care, will you consent that I should not be taxed for health care? Quit talking about socialism and answer.

Jun 04 11 - 5:27am

It's literally impossible for you NOT to rely on government for your healthcare.

The government is involved in regulating the educations (i.e. med schools) and licensing of physicians, not to mention the regulation of their prescribing through the DEA, etc., so you literally could not be treated by any doctor in the USA who has not had the government involved with their medical career. Thus, you are relying on the government to make sure your doctor(s) are properly trained and educated, as the quality of physicians would drop precipitously in an unregulated market. Do you want to be treated by a doctor with an M.D. from The University of Phoenix?

The government is also involved in the regulation of medications through the FDA. Every drug any doctor will ever prescribe for you in the US was at one time approved through the FDA, which means you are relying on the government to make sure that your medicines are safe, effective, and unadulterated. If you try to claim that the FDA is unnecessary and that pharmaceutical companies have incentives to do the same regulation of their products on your own, then explain notorious cases of corporate malfeasance like Vioxx or the proliferation of patent medicines and snake oil prior to the Pure Food and Drug Act.

Pharma companies will do whatever is profitable and cover up their malfeasance if there is no government to regulate them, prevent them from doing greedy, irresponsible, harmful things, and punish them when they do those things.

Just look at this fairly recent and egregious case:

Nov 18 10 - 1:38pm
Rob Bright/Glen Beck

Are you a Christian? Because Jesus would be for Health care! Do you have no human compassion? What is good for our society is good for you. Someday, when you are old and feeble, you will need someone to care for you and then your tune will change!

Nov 18 10 - 2:15pm
No Money

Sorry, but my money does no go to charity, my time does. I work at a food bank Wednesday and Friday. i actually prefer act not just throw money.
All of this no government stuff is just a pipe dream. You realize if we had no government, we would just be invaded and then we would have one forced upon us! just a thought.

Nov 18 10 - 4:23pm
Thomstas A. Hutchins

National Health Care has NEVER worked in any other nation in the world. May I further point out that we are talking about OUR government that has a very solid record of bankrupting and not running any agency at a budget that might be considered successful. Period!!! Not being rude or sympathetic...just stating the facts.

Nov 18 10 - 6:30pm
Republicans QQ

"They are forcing taxpayers who don't drive to pay for the roads of people that are do drive (and many of them are NOT taxpayers). That is called SOCIALISM."

"They are forcing taxpayers who don't need their fires to be put out to pay to put out fires of people that do need firefighters (and many of them are NOT taxpayers). That is called SOCIALISM."

"They are forcing taxpayers who don't need their fires to be put out to pay to put out fires of people that do need firefighters (and many of them are NOT taxpayers). That is called SOCIALISM."

And I hope you rot away in a hospital after you get your congressman to abolish medicare which is pure socialism in your eyes.

Nov 18 10 - 10:15pm
Republicans r Idiots

You mid-20th century leftovers still worried about the bogy-man of Socialism need to grow up and move into the 21st century. There is nothing of 20th century "socialism" in modern government, just like this is not 1776. Look into who is funding your anti-government crap and you find it is modern multi-national corporations who want a weak government that can't stand up for the citizens, the environment, or anything else that get in their way. The founding fathers of this country were the wild-eyed liberals of their day, and they created this Democratic Republic and gave control of it to the people - and if that is socialism, then it is and no matter what you think, it is the way it is supposed to be.

Nov 18 10 - 10:18pm
Republicans r Idiots

Hey Mr. Bright - I agree to your caveat - it means you can't drive on our roads, drink from our water systems, go to our stadiums, swim in our lakes or visit our parks, or anything else without paying directly for it. Also, when those people on the other side of the tracks learn you no longer have ANY police or fire protection, or any other common social or Constitutional protections... well good luck with that Cupcake.

Nov 18 10 - 10:30pm

Here you go all you right-wingers who claim every program is "socialism": your basic flaw is you believe the lies of your masters that most Democrats are unemployed and/or that there are millions of perfectly capable people who refuse to work or pay for their own way who want to leech off YOUR taxes. TRUTH: As many Democrats are employed as Republicans, or arguably, more. All those unemployed leechers? Grossly misstated. Fact is, we want to know why we work our entire lives, pay into taxes and, in many cases, insurance for all or most of our lives, then when/if we need help, we're leeches. We want OUR TAXES to pay for programs for US. I paid into insurance for many years - thousands of dollars - then a layoff, older worker, no luck finding employment with benefits, and health issues - where are all those dollars I put aside for healthcare? Oh, that wasn't for healthcare - it was for profits for corporate shareholders! Who's the leech now? I would MUCH prefer to have put all that money into a national healthcare system where "profits" are reinvested to help the system, and have SOME kind of assurance now, that my needs which I PAID FOR are met. Why is it such a crime to want to correct a real problem, yet you righties think nothing of bancrupting the country to fight an illegal war (not to mention the mearly immoral and unneccessary one that wasn't important enough for the Republican President to finish before he started another).

Nothing you haters can say can be considered anything more than lies by the corporate elite, or the delusional ranting of those so lacking in critical thought that they actually believe them.

Nov 18 10 - 11:19pm
Rob is not so bright

Rob Bright says: "If I consent to not rely on the government in ANY way, shape or form for health care, will you consent that I should not be taxed for health care?"

Sure. I guarantee that you will not be taxed a penny for any health care or anything else as soon as you keep your part of the bargain.

Be sure to inform us when you stop breathing American air which is clean only because the government has already been tending to your health for decades.

Hmmm... Ron not so Bright has yet to inform us of that. I wonder why?

Nov 19 10 - 1:24am
Nicky dee

To everyone who opposes the healthcare...and the dude who does not want his taxes to go to healthcare: 1st oh, genius one, you ARE already paying for it! Where do
You think the uninsured end up going when they have not had proper health care??? Yes, county hospitals that we all pay for...except for much more money because care at that point is more critical. 2nd please make sure you burn your Medicare card when you are eligible. Make sure your parents and grandparents do the same. I will enjoy watching how you plan to take care of them. I work in healthcare and have seen it all for the past 11 years. Amazing how all those who oppose healthcare are only a few paychecks away from losing their own coverage.
Outside the whole issue, what is more interesting is how the American population act like sheep! Amazing!

Nov 19 10 - 6:44am

To the "American idiot" spouting that national healthcare has never worked in any other nation. I'm an Australian ( Australia is a large country in the Southern hemisphere - just in case your ignorance extends beyond the norm) and we enjoy one of the best health care systems in the world - paid for by the people of Australia. If my child is ill, I can immediately take her to the doctor without charge. If I or any other Australian is in need if hospital treatment, no matter what the condition, we get it admitted to world class facilities, for free ( I will admit that there can sometimes be a waiting list, but if it means we can be healed and afford to eat all at the same time, so be it). Despite all American's freedoms and liberties, it seems to the rest of the world that only the rich and privelaged American's are entitled to them. For a nation that could have so much to be proud of, it must be so depressing for the descent citizens among you to be constantly humiliated by such arrogant, ignorant and short sighted opinions such as these. God help Obama drag you morons into the brave new world of a National Health Care...something we've managed successfully for decades.

Nov 19 10 - 10:29am

Nothing more amusing than conservatives railing against the mandate, a concept designed by GOP think tanks, and pushed by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts that's actually been one of their great public policy successes. But with the rise of the Know-Nothing Teaparty, conservative intellectuals are going rapidly extinct.

Nov 19 10 - 11:26am

@RobBright: If you don't want to pay taxes for things you don't use, so be it. But how can you be sure you'll never use them? Medicare is a good example. Not everyone can afford to self-insure. We're all in this together; no man is an island, however much he might wish he was.

Nov 19 10 - 9:50pm

@Thomas A Hutchins: Umm...National Health Care works in every country that uses it? The United States has one of the worst health care systems in the developed world. This is because it is private rather than public.

Nov 20 10 - 12:57am
Manny Garcia

Typical Republican ass-hole -- i got mine so screw everybody else.

Nov 20 10 - 1:27pm

Facts came in, Republicans fled. Typical.

Jan 31 11 - 9:44am

@Thomstas A. Hutchins: As a citizen of the UK, I would like to respectfully disagree with you about your suggestion that National Health Care has failed in every country which tried it. Our system has it's flaws, but on the whole provides an excellent service and the vast majority of Brits support it and would oppose any motions to remove it, even if we got to keep the tax money paid into it (10% of income goes towards that and social security)

Apr 15 11 - 10:16am

The ironic thing about this story is that rich Dr. Andy decided that government health care wasn't good enough for him and his family, so he bought stellar cadillac health insurance.

Apr 27 11 - 3:26pm

Dear Mr. Bright

Please refrain from flushing your toilet from this point forward.

Thank you,
Your City Manager