HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Health care: What Merkley said then …

Written November 26th, 2013 by Hasso Hering
Senator Merkley, smiling on his Senate website.

Senator Merkley, smiling on his Senate website.

The trouble with websites is that they don’t go away even if they’re updated. Sen. Jeff Merkley’s critics at the Oregon Catalyst, a conservative online site, have gleefully pointed out answers Merkley provided about the federal health insurance reform legislation when it was still at issue in Congress, back in August 2009.
Among the things our junior senator said then: “If you like your current health insurance, you will be able to keep it… Health care reform would simply give you the choice to change insurance providers if you so choose.” When President Obama said the same thing, more or less in the same words, more than 30 times in public appearances, he was misinforming the public or showing that he himself was misinformed. We now know that both Obama and our senator were wrong when they said it.

Merkley said elsewhere in that article that as a member of the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, he “spent weeks in committee meetings not only reading the Affordable Health Choices Act [apparently that’s what they called it then], but working with his colleagues on the details….”

If that’s so, he must have known that people with insurance that did not meet the act’s requirements would not in fact be able to keep that policy no matter how much they liked it. In parroting Obama’s words, Merkley repeated what he must have known to be untrue. (hh)





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