New Republican Congressman Peeved About His 28-Day Wait for Healthcare Coverage

New Republican Congressman Peeved About His 28-Day Wait for Healthcare CoverageWith millions of Americans poised to get health care coverage when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes full effect in 2014, pity the plight of Andy Harris (R-MD), an incoming Congressman who will represent Maryland’s Eastern Shore in the 112th Congress.  Harris, an anesthesiologist who ran on a platform supporting the repeal of the healthcare reform law, was shocked when he learned that his taxpayer-funded, government-run healthcare plan won’t take effect until 28 days after he is sworn into office on January 3.

According to a congressional staffer, Harris — while attending an orientation session for newly elected members of Congress — “Stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what would he do without 28 days of healthcare.  Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to close the gap.”  His spokeswoman, Ana Nix, said “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed.”  To the contrary, waiting periods for employer-sponsored health benefits are common.  The typical waiting period is 90 days and the average is just over two months, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2009 survey of employer health benefits.

Speaking about President Obama’s healthcare law, which mandates that the majority of Americans purchase some kind of health insurance coverage, Harris said “If we can’t repeal it we’re going to try to change it in such a way to remove the parts that people don’t like.” Harris defeated Democrat Frank Kratovil, who voted against the healthcare law.

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