Frank Kratovil

Freshman Republican Congressman Andy Harris, who was elected on a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, is outraged that he's going to go a whole month before his government-provided health insurance kicks in: A conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-Obamacare platform surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in. Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously whe

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News on health care reform will increasingly be about individual members, as President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi try to accumulate the 216--er, now 217--votes House Democrats need to pass the Senate bill. The widely held assumption among insiders is that the Democrats can count upon about 200 "yes" votes right now, or maybe a few more. There are, meanwhile, somewhere between 30 and 40 House Democratic votes up for grabs. Thursday brought several developments.

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Mob Rule?

WASHINGTON -- Health care reform is said to be in trouble partly because of those raucous August town hall meetings in which Democratic members of Congress were besieged by shouters opposed to change. But what if our media-created impression of the meetings is wrong? What if the highly publicized screamers represented only a fraction of public opinion?

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Unsafe At Any District

In many ways, it was your standard Democratic fund-raiser in a Republican stronghold. On a recent Friday, a largely bleeding-heart contingent from Maryland's first congressional district--professors from the nearby liberal arts college, a left-wing lobbyist, a Sears scion turned Obama donor, the president of an environmental foundation--holed up in a Patton Boggs lawyer's Eastern Shore home to give their earnest young congressional candidate, state prosecutor Frank Kratovil, a sympathetic pat on the back. But somebody there was not like most of the others.

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