Merkley co-sponsors legislation for public to keep healthcare plans – with conditions

Another Oregon politician has come forward admitting the failures of the Affordable Healthcare Act, affectionately known as Obamacare. Merkley said he did not foresee the mass cancellations; therefore, he has joined forces with Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu (D) in sponsoring legislation allowing Americans to keep their healthcare plans.

Sen. Merkley’s office released the following statement on his website on November 13, 2013:

“Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley announced that he is cosponsoring the Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act, a bill that gives consumers the choice to keep their current health plans if they want to continue them. During the debate over the Affordable Care Act, a promise was made to consumers that if they liked their health care plan, they could keep it. Merkley wants to ensure that this promise is kept for Oregonians.

“Our health care law laid out a vision that those who like their current individual healthcare plan can keep it, and that vision must be honored,” said Merkley.

“The original bill had a grandfather provision, but that provision did not work as intended. When insurance companies changed significant provisions on policies, those policies lost their grandfather status. I am sponsoring Senator Landrieu’s bill to fix that.

“The health care law has many valuable reforms that increase support for prevention, increase competition between insurance providers, and create an insurance consumers’ bill of rights that ends many predatory insurance practices. These are important changes that we must protect and implement as intended. As I’ve said from the beginning, I will work on a bipartisan basis with colleagues to keep what works and fix what doesn’t.”

[Editor’s note: Here is where the conditions are set] This legislation will allow people to keep their current individual health plan as long as policyholders stay up-to-date with their payments and don’t make changes to the policy. Insurance companies will be required to notify policyholders about which parts of the policy do not meet minimum coverage standards made available in new plans, such as hospitalization, laboratory services, and prescription drugs, helping consumers to make informed decisions about their health plans.”

Once again, instead of allowing the public to simply have the insurance plans of their choice, the Senate Democrats have set conditions making it impossible, over time, for consumers to keep their plans at all. Policies do change, and policyholders indeed make those changes as well thus, providing yet another avenue in which the federal government forces people into the program of government’s choice.

For Sen. Merkley, the Senate Democrats involved in the bill, and any politician who voted in favor of Obamacare in 2010 to behave as though the failures of the roll-out, policy cancellations, the expense and limitations of choices is an absolute surprise, is extraordinarily deceptive and frankly, just pretentious. In fact, the very same Senate Democrats supporting the Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act were the very same Democrats who knowingly supported the grandfathered clause in the Affordable Care Act as noted on the CNN political ticker just two weeks ago:  Senate Democrats supported rule that led to insurance cancellations

Ironically, many against the Affordable Care Act in 2010 were sounding the alarm on Obamacare well before it went to a vote. In fact, many thoughtful Americans of all political stripes were maligned, dismissed and made fun of by their own representatives and many supporters of Obamacare legislation. All these Americans did was warn their fellow countrymen of what would happen if Obamacare was not defeated. It was not as if those opposing Obamacare had special knowledge or a crystal ball to see into the future; all it took was having a firm grasp of what has happened in the past, where ‘hope and change’ has fundamentally transformed elsewhere in the world.