You know, sometimes I think the Harris campaign monitors monoblogue – either that or he and I really DO think alike on a number of issues. (There’s definitely nothing wrong with that!) After I did this post, wouldn’t you know the Harris weekly update I received has this passage in it:
I am sure many of you have seen the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign) Ad attacking my stance on healthcare, entitled “Is Andy Harris Lonely?” I realize it is important for you to understand the truth of this issue directly from me:
With a degree in health and policy management/health finance and management from Johns Hopkins University along with over 28 years as a woman’s healthcare specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the health and safety of my patients as well as the finacial security of all Marylanders is within my realm of expertise and of utmost importance to me.
The other bill gave midwives the authority to perform many of the same services as OBGYNs. As a physician and associate professor at Johns Hopkins, I know the training midwives go through is nowhere near as extensive as that of an OBGYN. I was unwilling to risk the health and safety of patients by signing this bill. (For example: this bill permitted midwives to provide procedures such as cancer screening which a midwife has zero training to do. SB100 from 2001).
In short, one bill added an unnecessary mandate that increased the cost of healthcare for all Marylanders. Maryland already has the highest cost of healthcare in the region. One of the reasons is beacuse (sic) of the 49 mandates the state has placed on health insurance. Every new mandate increases the cost of insurance everyone has to pay. Almost 90% of insurance plans in Maryland already cover colon cancer screening. This bill added an unnecessary mandate that increased the cost of healthcare for all Marylanders. For the good of all Marylanders, I was not willing to support a mandate which would further increase this already high cost (SB 567 from 2000).
In contrast, my opponent has taken tens of thousands of dollars from trial attorneys who file frivolous lawsuits that increase the cost of healthcare for all Marylanders.
Thank you for taking the time to research the facts on this negative campaign ad. (Emphasis in original.)
You’re welcome, I enjoyed it. And what’s interesting is his reasoning on voting against the cancer screening bill was right in line with mine – it is yet another health insurance mandate that everyone who has a policy pays for regardless of actual need. Perhaps a libertarian argument could be made against his vote on the midwife bill, but he apparently deferred to his experience in the field. We in the architectural profession make a similar argument against licensing interior designers – they’re not as versed in health and safety issues as we are.
Perhaps Andy piled on a little in referring to trial lawyers but it’s well-known that the legal field is backing Kratovil as the medical field backs Harris. Tort reform may not be the entire prescription for bringing down health care costs but it would certainly make a dent in the cost to physicians, who could pass the savings on. (The cynics will of course argue that the doctors would just pocket the savings; however, eventually the market would catch up to the first altruistic practitioner who dropped his prices.)
It’s solid thinking that goes against the political grain, and I’m happy Andy Harris put up his side of the story and fought the DCCC attempt to smear his voting record.