Karma’s something something.
Remember Rep.-elect Andy Harris (R-MD)? The anti-health care reform physician who got a heap of bad publicity when he made a fuss about having to wait a few weeks until his employer- (a.k.a. government-) provided health care kicked in? And who asked whether the government had a… public option, of sorts, from which he could buy insurance in the interim?
Turns out hubris has consequences.
According to The Daily Times, “The Maryland Republican didn’t get his top choice for a committee assignment, the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over public health issues.”
Now, these two incidents could be unrelated. A top Harris aide, Kevin Reigrut, said he doubts the gaffe doomed his boss, and pointed to the fact that a ton of Republicans were elected in November, many of whom want seats on that particular, prestigious committee.
But as David Waldman points out, Republicans are pretty fond of putting their physician members center stage as arbiters of health policy wisdom. See, for instance, this joint — the GOP’s doctors had their own internet TV show!
And with Democrats now relegated to the minority in the House, they can’t do much more than go on offense — a skill Dems like incoming ranking member Henry Waxman (D-CA), and committee member Anthony Weiner (D-NY) are well practiced in. The GOP made a wise decision keeping Harris at arm’s length.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.