Another Democrat signs on to ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it’ legislation

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley on Wednesday became the latest non-red state Democrat to sign on to co-sponsor a bill that’s intended to make good on President Barack Obama’s promise that “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.”

The Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act is being sponsored by Democratic Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, and before Tuesday, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, and Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor had already signed on. Landrieu, Hagan, and Pryor all face tough re-election campaigns in red-leaning states.

On Tuesday night, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein became the first non-red state Democrat to sign on, explaining in a statement, “Since the beginning of September, I have received 30,842 calls, emails and letters from Californians, many of whom are very distressed by cancellations of their insurance policies and who are facing increased out-of-pocket costs.”

“I believe consumers should be allowed to choose their plans, and they should be adequately informed about those choices. Consumers must be told what their coverage does and does not include so families don’t find themselves paying for an insurance policy they believe is comprehensive when in fact it is not,” she said.

Merkley, on Wednesday, added his name to the list of co-sponsors. Merkley is up for re-election next year, but in Oregon, a state that is generally favorable to Democrats.

A growing number of Democrats are calling on the White House to make good on the promise that Americans could keep their plans if they liked it, as many Americans are being notified that their plans will be cancelled.

On Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton said, “even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got.”

Oregon Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader said this weekend that the president had been “grossly misleading to the American public” when he said people could keep their plans, and Democratic Minority Whip Steny Hoyer again acknowledged that Obama “should have been precise.”

The House will vote on a similar bill on Friday, sponsored by Michigan Rep. Fred Upton.

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Alexis Levinson