Tags: Andy Harris

Sebelius, Not Up to Speed on How IPAB Works


From the final Morning Jolt of the week:

Republican House Member Demonstrates Sebelius Doesn’t Know How IPAB Law Works

Rep. Andy Harris is a Republican from Maryland and a physician. He’s on the Appropriations Committee, and on Thursday he had the chance to ask some questions of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, also known as IPAB, which hopeless demagogues like you and me call “the death panel,” because it will ultimately decide which medical treatments are insufficiently cost-effective to be covered by the government.

Harris asked Sebelius if she would have the authority of the IPAB board if its members don’t get appointed. Obama has yet to nominate anyone to serve on the IPAB board. (Earlier this month, the administration testified that the nominations are coming; the Senate would confirm the members, and yes, they could (and probably will) face a filibuster.) She said if the appointments aren’t made, it doesn’t go into effect.

You’re probably sighing a great sigh of relief, but you shouldn’t. The problem is that no, that’s not what the law says.

If appointments aren’t made to the board, then she would have the authority to find the savings, and determine which treatments are not cost-effective. Video of her testimony here.

Here’s the U.S. Code for IPAB:

(5) Contingent secretarial development of proposal

If, with respect to a proposal year, the Board is required, but fails, to submit a proposal to Congress and the President by the deadline applicable under paragraph (3)(A)(i), the Secretary shall develop a detailed and specific proposal that satisfies the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (C) (and, to the extent feasible, subparagraph (B)) of paragraph (2) and contains the information required paragraph (3)(B)). By not later than January 25 of the year, the Secretary shall transmit—

(A) such proposal to the President; and

(B) a copy of such proposal to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission for its review.

But hey, why should we expect Kathleen Sebelius to be familiar with the fine print of Obamacare?

Tags: Kathleen Sebelius , Andy Harris , IPAB

The First of Many 2014 House Race Roundups


A roundup of recent movements in preparation for the 2014 House races:

CALIFORNIA: Former Rep. Joe Baca, a California Democrat, announced a bid in California’s 31st District to take on GOP Rep. Gary Miller. USA Today’s Catalina Camia reports Baca had previously indicated he would seek a rematch against Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod, also a Democrat, in the 35th District. Because of past pro-gun votes, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC ran ads against him, a factor that Baca contends was decisive.

GEORGIA: The AP reports that “Jody Hice, a conservative talk radio host and minister who made headlines when he fought the ACLU over displays of the Ten Commandments in courthouses, says he’ll be running for Congress in the 10th District.” Current Rep. Paul Broun, a Republican, will be leaving to run for U.S. Senate. Romney carried 62 percent of the vote in this district.

ILLINOIS: State Sen. Darlene Senger, a Republican, now has a web site in her bid against incumbent Democrat Bill Foster in the 11th District. Foster won a special election in the state’s 14th District (under different district lines) in 2007 after House Speaker Dennis Hastert resigned, won reelection in 2008, then lost in 2010 to Republican Randy Hultgren. He beat Republican Rep. Judy Biggert in 2012. Obama took nearly 58 percent of the vote in the 14th District.

IOWA: Former state Sen. Staci Appel, considered a strong candidate to challenge Republican Tom Latham, announced today that she has decided against a congressional bid, the Des Moines Register reports. This is a swing district that Obama carried with 51 percent of the vote in 2012.

MARYLAND: Dr. John LaFerla, who narrowly lost the 2012 Democratic primary in Maryland’s 1st District, announced he will run again.  He lost to Wendy Rosen, who dropped out abruptly in 2012 after it was revealed she had voted in both Maryland and Florida in 2006 and 2008. The seat is currently held by Republican Andy Harris. Romney carried this district with 60 percent in 2012.

PENNSYLVANIA:  Former City Controller Jonathan Saidel is not running in Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District, where incumbent Allyson Schwartz is running for governor. He cited interest from Marjorie Margolies, who once held the seat (and cast an infamous vote for HillaryCare). Years later, Margolies’ son married Chelsea Clinton.

Other declared candidates include State Rep. Brendan F. Boyle and State Sen. Daylin Leach. In addition, almost every Democrat with ambition and/or a pulse is mentioned as a possible candidate, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer: “State Sen. LeAnna Washington of Philadelphia; State Reps. Mark Cohen of Philadelphia; Madeleine Dean and Mary Jo Daley of Montgomery County; and Ed Neilson of Philadelphia; Mark Levy, the Montgomery County prothonotary; and Valerie A. Arkoosh, a physician and Democratic activist from Montgomery.” Obama carried this district with 66 percent of the vote, so the Democratic primary winner is a heavy favorite in the general election.

Tags: Joe Baca , Gary Miller , Jody Hice , Darlene Senger , John LaFerla , Andy Harris , Margorie Margolies

His Name Is Earl, and He Can Start in January


Say Anything notices that Rasmussen has the latest sign that North Dakota Democrat Earl Pomeroy should be looking at other employment opportunities in January.

UPDATE: Elsewhere, Monmouth finds Republican Andy Harris up 11 points on incumbent Democrat Frank Kratovil in Maryland’s 1st congressional district.

Tags: Andy Harris , Earl Pomeroy , Rick Berg

Defining Birtherhood Down


This is a response that Dave Weigel of the Washington Post characterizes as “going birther.”

HARRIS: You know, Corey, there are a lot of folks who will look at what happened with regard to that Hawaiian birth certificate and say, you know what, why isn’t all the truth coming out, or why are things being hidden? I don’t know why they’re being hidden but I will tell you right now Barack Obama is our president. I think we have got to just realize that he’s going to be the president until 2012 and if he isn’t doing the job that America thinks needs to be done, in 2012 we get to elect a new president. And that’s what we got to focus on. In 2010, we have to focus on electing a new Congress and in 2012 we have to focus on electing a new president.

I suppose the comment about “things being hidden” could be loosely construed as not disagreeing with Birther theories, but this is pretty mild stuff, particularly considering the comments immediately following that Obama is “our” president — notice not “the president” — and that he contends it’s a moot question, that Obama will serve the remainder of his term.

Weigel says, “I’m constantly amazed at the number of Republicans who don’t simply dismiss the question”; the above words seem pretty dismissive as a whole. Perhaps a Republican candidate could respond to every question in this vein with, “What a stupid question, you jerk,” but it’s hard to blame a candidate for being polite and respectful even to voters who espouse outlandish theories.

Tags: Andy Harris

GOP Challenger Leading Democratic Incumbent in Maryland


A Republican polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies, finds GOP challenger Andy Harris ahead of incumbent Democrat Frank Kratovil by 3 percent in Maryland’s 1st congressional district.

The health-care bill is polling at 35 percent favor, 58 percent oppose in this district; only 30 percent say the stimulus is working, while 65 percent say it was “just a government spending program that did not create enough new jobs for the money.”

This is not that surprising, as this is Maryland’s reddest district, and Kratovil’s 2008 win looks like a bit of a fluke, helped along by deep divisions in the local GOP that year.

Tags: Andy Harris , Frank Kratovil , Maryland

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