Liberal group targets GOP freshman-elect over healthcare comment

A liberal activist group is going after GOP Rep.-elect Andy Harris (Md.) for voicing displeasure with the benefits of his government-sponsored healthcare plan. 

Even before Harris's swearing in, Americans United for Change is launching a radio ad in the Baltimore and Salisbury, Md., markets Tuesday calling on him to drop the federal healthcare coverage he receives as a member of Congress or to cease his opposition to the healthcare reform law signed by President Obama.

"Call Congressman Harris and tell him to stop whining about his healthcare and start fighting for ours," the ad says. "If he wants to deny Maryland families quality, affordable healthcare, tell him to start with his own."

The campaign is the latest response to Harris, who reportedly peppered two women at a seminar last week with questions about why his congressional healthcare benefits won't kick in immediately upon his swearing in, instead of a month later. 

Democrats view Harris's remarks as a political opportunity to push back against Republican criticism of the healthcare law passed in March. 

A group of House Democrats circulated a letter last week that demanded House Republicans say whether or not they will use their federal healthcare benefits.

Harris, a physician, won his campaign over freshman Rep. Frank Kratovil (D) in part by pressuring the congressman to say where he stood on repealing healthcare reform. The GOP candidate ran strongly in favor of full repeal.

Americans United for Change is also launching targeted Facebook ads along the same lines.