Obamacare threatens successful insurance program in Bend


Rep. Greg Walden

The Bend Chamber of Commerce runs a successful health insurance program for local small businesses that allows them to group up to provide more affordable coverage for their employees. So far, 141 small businesses have joined the plan, which now covers about 2,000 employees in Central Oregon.

When Obamacare passed in 2010, I was concerned about a provision that threatens the Central Oregon plan’s ability to offer this type of coverage. It’s one of the many reasons I voted against the law in the U.S. House. Back then, I wrote a letter to the Administration expressing my concerns about this insurance program, and received a commitment that they’d work with us to ensure the plan could continue running.

Now that Obamacare is going into effect, the plan administrators have written to the Administration to ask that the plan be allowed to continue to offer insurance for these businesses. They hadn’t received a response yet, so I got involved. At the Bend Rotary this month, I announced that I’d written the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Labor asking what steps they plan to take to protect this plan and similar ones throughout Oregon.

When the law was being written, President Obama said that if you like your plan, you can keep it. I will continue work to hold the Administration to its promise. A copy of the letter I wrote is here , and you can read The Bulletin’sarticle about the situation by clicking here .

Greg Walden, U.S. Representative – Oregon’s Second District