Senate majority leader Harry Reid took a different tack than House Democratic whip Steny Hoyer, digging in on the claim that Americans can keep their existing health-care plans under Obamacare and blaming insurance companies for any canceled plans.
President Obama “didn’t say anything that was wrong. That’s true,” Reid said when asked whether Obama’s promises that Americans could keep their current health-care plans were misleading.
Describing what was happening to millions of Americans receiving cancellation notices, Reid said, “Insurance companies cancel plans. That’s what they do.”
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia took a different view. Manchin said he was surprised at how many people’s plans were being canceled and said the problem needed to be fixed.
When asked if Obama’s repeated promises were misleading, Manchin seemed to be grappling with the extent of the deception.
“It was pretty much a part of the whole talking points, forever. It was almost like, ‘Don’t worry! Don’t worry! Don’t worry!’ Well, people back in West Virginia are worried now, thinking, ‘Ok, you mean I can’t keep it? I gotta buy this?’ Or, ‘The policy I had didn’t meet certain criteria or certain standards, and now those certain standards are going to force me to buy?’” Manchin said, adding he’s working with Republican senator Johnny Isakson on a one-year delay to the individual mandate.
Meanwhile, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, one of the chief architects of the health-care law, essentially ducked questions about whether he knew millions of Americans would be kicked off their current health-care plans.
“I think the main focus should be, let’s fix it. After we get it fixed . . . we can start worrying about what went wrong,” Baucus said.