To the editor: Congressman Andy Harris is misleading District 1 voters once again.
In a Baltimore Sun article by Andrea McDaniel (“Millions in Maryland could lose health benefits because of the Feds’ Obamacare stance”), Harris says he “disagrees with the Trump administration’s decision not to defend the protections” for pre-existing conditions.
Well that’s a surprise. Since the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, passed in 2010, congressional Republicans have voted over 60 times to repeal or replace it. The ACA established protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Every Republican repeal/ replace bill would have eliminated those protections as well as laws limiting premium costs for women and older people. Harris has voted for repeal/replace at every opportunity. A Texas lawsuit is another attempt to declare the ACA unconstitutional, thereby eliminating protections for women, older people and people with preexisting conditions.
With an election only weeks away, Congressman Harris wants voters to think he’s protecting his constituents who have pre-existing conditions. To support that completely false claim, he cites the reinsurance bill passed last year by the Maryland legislature to help insurance companies bear the costs of covering preexisting conditions.
Harris cannot honestly cover up his anti-health care votes that way for two reasons.
The Maryland reinsurance program was created and voted on at the Maryland General Assembly. With the rest of the Maryland delegation, Harris did sign a letter requesting that the Departments of Treasury and Health and Human Services allow Maryland to implement the reinsurance program. However, Harris had nothing to do with creating it.
The Democratic majority in the General Assembly wrote, supported and passed it. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed it only because he knew he had to. If the Texas lawsuit renders the ACA unconstitutional, people in Maryland will be total- ly without protections. Without the state reinsurance law, Maryland insurance markets would be thrown into chaos. Thousands of people would lose their insurance or find it unaffordable. Hogan deserves some, but not much credit for signing the bill. Harris? Less.
Maryland’s 1st District voters have a choice Nov. 6. They can elect Jesse Colvin, who supports the Affordable Care Act and has proposed strengthening it by allowing everyone to buy into Medicare as one option for health insurance. Unlike Harris, Colvin actually does want to cover people with pre-existing conditions. As a veteran and a new father, he knows what kind of health care our veterans and their families need.
Harris’s constituents no longer have to listen to him dishonestly saying he supports them while he votes to take away their heath care. They can vote him out. Linda Cades Kennedyville