PORTLAND, ORE – Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend) called on Jeff Merkley to support legislation recently proposed by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson to allow Americans to choose to keep their existing health insurance policy.
“President Obama and Senator Merkley both promised us ‘If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep it.’” Conger said. “Millions of Americans, and 150,000 Oregonians, are now finding out that it is not true.What’s worse, Senator Merkley must have known it was not true for a long, long time.”
As they receive cancellation notices, tens of thousands of Oregonians are now learning that the insurance policies they chose with will no longer be available and that new policies approved under the Affordable Healthcare Act carry huge increases in premiums, co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.
In addition to providing the deciding vote for Obamacare in the U.S. Senate, Senator Merkley joined Senate Democrats in voting down a September 2010 resolution that would have reversed the administration rules so that those who liked their existing health insurance policies would be able to keep them.
“A promise is a promise – even in Washington, D.C. – especially when it comes to something as personal as a person’s healthcare,” said Conger. “Senator Merkley voted against a similar measure in September 2010, so I frankly don’t expect him to support Senator Johnson’s bill to allow Americans to keep their health plans… but maybe he will have an election year conversion. Regardless, I can tell Oregonians that I will keep my promises as their U.S. Senator.”
“There are laws against this kind of ‘bait and switch’ sales tactic in the private sector and the same standard should apply to politicians,” Conger said. “Unfortunately, the damage is done and the only way to help people now is to pass Senator Johnson’s ‘If You Like Your Health Care Plan You Can Keep It Act.’”
Rep. Conger represents HD 54 in the Oregon Legislature and is a candidate for the Republican nomination to challenge Merkley in 2014.