150,000 people have had their health insurance plans cancelled in Oregon. Premiums have increased. Medicare Advantage benefits for our state's seniors have been cut. The Obama administration is constantly changing its rules and regulations and delaying its mandates. As one person told her, "The Affordable Care Act has made my health insurance un-affordable."
This system is so flawed that it needs to be repealed and replaced with a patient-centered, market-based approach like the one Monica outlined in November of 2013 that increases access that is actually affordable.
Conger once again insisted that he voted for Cover Oregon not because he supported the federal law but because he thought it would be better to have a state-run exchange than to be part of the federal exchange, as is the case with several other states.
He even took the step of brandishing an opinion from the legislative counsel noting that state legislators didn't have a say in approving the new federal law. "I think that it is time that we stop with misinformation," Conger said, "and we start being transparent and honest with voters."
Wehby, whose compensation at Legacy Emanuel has topped $1 million a year, countered that Conger was the one who has been squishy on opposing the new federal health care law.
And she was quick to insist that Congress needed fewer career politicians and "more MDs and less JDs," the latter being a reference to those, like Conger, with law degrees.
Wehby said, "It sounds a lot to me like those politicians who voted for ObamaCare and Cover Oregon and who are all of a sudden leading the charge to get rid of the laws they voted for in the first place," she said. "That's not me." She was clearly referring to the votes Conger took in the state Legislature to establish a state-run health exchange known as Cover Oregon under the terms of the federal health care law.
"I was against ObamaCare when it wasn't cool to be against ObamaCare," replied Wehby, noting that she appeared in a 2009 ad opposing the health care plan before it became law. She also insisted that Wyden's plan had several important differences from ObamaCare: "It was not the same as ObamaCare," she said. "It's a free market-based approach. It had bipartisan support, and it was budget neutral. That is a far cry from ObamaCare."
The senator said he still hasn't been able to finish enrolling his own family through Cover Oregon, although he said afterwards that he is still has insurance for the time being through his existing congressional plan. Under the new law, members of Congress are required to get their coverage through the exchanges.
Merkley said he continues to believe the new law is still on balance a positive because it has expanded coverage to large numbers of previously uninsured people. "We're going to have some success stories, we're going to have some failure stories," said Merkley. "We have to work on it."
Merkley acknowledged in November that he and other supporters of the new law did not foresee how it would fail to prevent a wave of cancellations of existing policies. The senator also joined other Democrats in sponsoring a bill that would allow consumers to keep existing policies if they wanted.
The new Wehby video features footage of a Sept. 4, 2009 town hall meeting in which Merkley said: "You would have the choice of sticking with the plan you have. If you like it, it will be absolutely there." The ad ends with a catchy slogan: "Keep your doctor. Change your senator."
A Merkley spokeswoman said that the senator has worked to fix problems with the new law rather than simply undo the new federal health care law.
"We were promised that 'If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep it,' " Conger said. "Millions of Americans, and over 140,000 Oregonians, are now finding out that it is not true and are losing their health insurance coverage. We need to do whatever we can at the state level to help individuals and families who are losing their health insurance coverage in just a few weeks."
"It is outrageous that 140,000 Oregonians will be forced out of the health plan they chose, despite the promises that were made," explained Rep. Conger. "I plan on meeting with my colleagues to find a way to help the families that have been impacted by the ObamaCare roll out."
The targets besides Merkley are Reps. Gary Peters (MI) and Bruce Braley (IA), Sens. Mark Warner (VA), Mark Begich (AK), Dick Durbin (IL), Kay Hagan (NC), Mary Landrieu (LA), Mark Pryor (AR), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Mark Udall (CO). The robocall script reads:
"President Obama and the Democrats said you could keep your healthcare plan under ObamaCare. Now we know [SENATOR] actually VOTED to make it more difficult. Call [SENATOR] at (XXX)-XXX-XXX & ask why [he/she] lied."
The robocalls are a response to Democrats launching the "GOP Shutdown Watch" campaign, highlighting Republican senate candidates who supported the partial federal government shutdown.
|2016 Presidential contenders on Health Care:|
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
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