The freshman congressman balked at the lapse in health care coverage. After all, someone who works hard should reap the rewards of their labors. Any lapse in health care coverage — even if it is just for one month — is a risk no American should take.
This story isn’t the struggle of a politician fighting on behalf of a constituent. It’s the stance of Congressman-elect Andy Harris, who ran on repealing health care reform. The incoming congressman inquired during his freshman orientation about the gap between the start of his Congressional term and the government-subsidized health insurance available to members of Congress.
Democrats are seizing the opportunity. Democrats in the House — Joe Crowley, Donna Edwards, Tim Ryan and Linda Sanchez — are challenging GOP Representatives to align campaign rhetoric with action by dumping their government-subsidized health insurance. In a “Drop It or Stop It” ad (below), Americans United for Change is urging GOP members to drop their health care plans or stop threats to repeal health care reform.
The problem is Republicans and Democrats with the loudest voices often have the greatest access to health insurance.
They cling to their own government-subsidized health insurance, and refuse to give it up to prove the merits of the free market system or the public option. Their constituents must carry the cross. Republicans preach the need to carry the load for the sake of “our children,” and forget that their parents (and many children) are languishing by the wayside in the meantime. Democrats — seeking perfect health care reform — are often willing to allow millions of uninsured and underinsured flounder to prove a point.
On the eve of canceling my enrollment in the federal high-risk insurance pool, I can attest that neither Republican nor Democrat’s rhetoric or deeds meet the needs of everyday Americans. Deeds are bound by theatrical rhetoric. While Congressman-elect Andy Harris benefits from his government-subsidized health insurance, he will justify keeping that same plan from the people he serves. Across the country, Americans will question if politicians should be responsible for such a personal decision.