Five Senate Dems pushing for Obamacare enrollment delay said existing plans could be kept

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
Font Size:

Five of the Democratic senators pushing for a delay in the Obamacare enrollment period promised constituents that they would be able to keep their existing health plans under the new law.

Democratic Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire wrote a letter last week to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging a delay in the Obamacare enrollment deadline.

All five Democrats are up for re-election in 2014 in red or swing states. And all five Democrats helped move Obamacare forward by falsely telling their constituents that they could all keep their existing health insurance plans under Obamacare.

1. Mary Landrieu, Louisiana

Landrieu was humiliated enough by Americans’ loss of existing health coverage under Obamacare that she said last week she would propose a bill to allow people to keep their existing plans.

“The promise was made, and it should be kept. And it was our understanding when we voted for that bill that people when they have insurance could keep with what they had. So I’m going to be working on that fix,” Landrieu said last week.

Landrieu’s promise to Americans is documented on the Senate record.

“‘While those individuals who like the coverage they already have will be able to keep their current plan,'” Landrieu said on the Senate floor on December 22, 2009 while reading from a document before adding, “This is a very accurate description of this bill.”

2. Mark Begich, Alaska

“If you got a doctor now, you got a medical professional you want, you get to keep that. If you have an insurance program or a health care policy you want of ideas, make sure you keep it. That you can keep who you want. That we keep that patient-doctor relationship very strong,” Begich said in a July 27, 2009 statewide iTownhall with Alaskans.

3. Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire

“No, no. My understanding, Emil, is that [inaudible] and I know this is true of the bill that has come out of the committee in the Senate [inaudible] if you have health coverage that you like you can keep it. As I said, you may have missed my remarks at the beginning of the call, but one of the things I that I said as a requirement that I have for supporting a bill is that if you have health coverage that you like you should be able to keep that,” Sen. Shaheen said in a telephone town hall meeting with New Hampshire constituents that is still posted on her website.

4. Mark Pryor, Arkansas

“Elements of this package will drive down costs for families, small businesses, and government; protect and expand an individual’s choice of doctors and insurance plans without any government interference; and assure affordable, reliable healthcare for every Arkansan,” Sen. Pryor said in a December 24, 2009 press release, telling his constituents on Christmas Eve about a law that for many has failed to protect their choice of plans and has actually increased costs.

Republican Rep. Mark DeSantis recently called Pryor out for special criticism.

“We’re going to work within our state delegations to put some pressure on these Democratic senators so that they’ll start demanding some action. You may see a letter from the Arkansas delegation to Mark Pryor saying, ‘Hey, you said that people could keep their plans. Will you step up and support this?,'” DeSantis said.

5. Kay Hagan, North Carolina

“The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee crafted a bill that ensures that people who like their insurance and their doctors keep them. They also expand access to health insurance for those without it and slows down the skyrocketing cost of health care. Three critical components that President Obama called for in his speech to Congress two weeks ago,” Hagan said on the Senate floor in September 2009.

Follow Patrick on Twitter

Tags : obamacare
Patrick Howley