Health Care Hypocrite Andy Harris Did Not Provide Health Insurance For Campaign Staffers

November 24, 2010 11:37 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

Andy Harris (R-MD)

Last week, Rep.-elect Andy Harris (R-MD) received some unwanted media attention for his conduct at an orientation session for new House members. An anesthesiologist who campaigned on a pledge to repeal health care reform, Harris was furious to learn that his government-sponsored insurance would not kick in his first day on the job. "This is the only employer I've ever worked for where you don't get coverage the first day you are employed," he reportedly griped.

Harris' stance was not only hypocritical, but utterly foolish. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, "Seventy-four percent of covered workers face a waiting period before coverage is available," with an average wait time of 2.2 months. Of course, many employers eschew health benefits altogether. As it turns out, Harris is such an employer:

Republican Congressman-elect Andy Harris and Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards, unlike other Maryland congressional candidates, did not provide health insurance, cover payroll taxes or pay for unemployment insurance for their campaign workers, a practice that may skirt IRS rules.     

The politicians avoided these costs by paying their campaign staffs as independent contractors instead of regular employees, according to expense reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The Daily Times adds, "Some of the workers for the Harris campaign do not appear to qualify as independent contractors."