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Udall proposal would let people keep current healthcare plans for two years

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, during a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee last year.

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, during a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee last year.

DENVER — As Democrats on Capitol Hill are growing increasingly angry with the White House over problems with Obamacare — and increasingly uneasy about their individual fortunes heading into 2014 — Colorado Sen. Mark Udall Wednesday became the latest Democratic lawmaker to introduce legislation to change the beleaguered Affordable Care Act, FOX31 Denver is first to report.

With support building for a plan introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, that would allow people mislead by the president”s promise to keep their plans to actually do so indefinitely, Udall has come up with a scaled down version that would allow policyholders to keep their current plans, being cancelled under the new law, for two years.

“We’re protecting the stability of the insurance market in the exchange while allowing people to hold on to their current plans a little bit longer,” Joe Britton, Udall’s deputy chief of staff, told FOX31.

Like Landrieu, Udall faces reelection in 2014, although he’s not viewed as being nearly as vulnerable as she or Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Arkansas, who also signed onto her bill.

“I have repeatedly said that the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect, and it will need to be improved as it is implemented. This common-sense bill ensures the health reform law allows Coloradans to maintain insurance coverage,” Udall said.

“I share the concern that some health insurance companies are choosing to cancel thousands of Coloradans’ plans. That’s why my common-sense bill will allow Coloradans the option to keep their current coverage if they want or to purchase new plans through the Connect for Health Colorado marketplace that may better meet their health care needs.”

Senate Democrats are scheduled to visit the White House on Thursday, Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

The White House appears to understand the political concerns of Democratic lawmakers facing reelection next year and has to be increasingly nervous about a proverbial dam breaking as many steadfast supporters of the law begin to abandon key provisions.

Supporters of the law believe that allowing all current health care plans to remain in place will destroy the new online marketplaces where providers are competing to sell their plans but also being held to new federal mandates that they cover more than their policies used to.

Udall’s office says his proposal is an effort to address the concerns without imperiling the entirety of the law itself.

“In addition to allowing consumers to keep their current benefits and cost-sharing, Sen. Udall’s bill preserves important market reforms designed to spread risk and stabilize the new health insurance exchange market,” said Mike Saccone, Udall’s spokesperson.

Four Republicans are vying to challenge Udall next year: state Sen. Owen Hill of Colorado Springs; state Sen. Randy Baumgardne of Hot Sulphur Springs; Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck; and state Rep. Amy Stephens of Monument, who actually co-sponsored the legislation creating Colorado’s health insurance exchange despite her opposition to the federal law that called for it.

Stephens, who is leading the field when it comes to sending out the most anti-Obamacare press releases, brushed off Udall’s proposal as a transparent ploy to save his job.

“Sen. Udall’s legislation is nothing more than a phony political ploy that will only temporarily delay insurance cancellations instead of actually stopping them,” Stephens said in a statement.

“When Sen. Udall promised Coloradans they could keep their health insurance, he didn’t put a time stamp on it, but today, he offers a half measure that is simply insufficient and politically motivated. It’s clear that Mark Udall is more interested in putting off the disastrous consequences of Obamacare until after his re-election campaign instead of actually standing up for Colorado families, which requires repealing this law and replacing it.”

The Colorado Republican Party also blasted Udall’s proposal.

“In 2009, Sen. Udall voted against a Republican amendment that would have kept hard working Coloradans from  losing their healthcare plan,” said Colorado GOP spokesman Owen Loftus.

“He owes the 250,000 Coloradans who are losing their insurance an apology and an explanation for why he didn’t prevent this debacle from occurring when he first learned about it in 2009.”

RELATED: Obamacare signups in October released, fall well short of goals

23 comments

  • Aaron Davidson

    I’m confused why this is a good idea. Won’t we then just have the same problem in two years? Udall and Obama said “If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. Period.”

    So now it’s “If you like your health plan, you can hang onto it for a couple more years. Period.”?

    lol, it’s kind of funny, but pretty sad for the 250,000 Coloradans losing the coverage they liked.

  • Gerry

    Isn’t that special. We can keep our insurance past the next election.
    I’d rather we lose Obamacare AND the Dems that voted for it – every one of them.

  • Travis

    Its time people stop worrying about what some athlete said or a celebrity has done and realize this country is in SERIOUS trouble under OBuma and his band of fools.

  • Greg McCarter

    Wasn’t this loser one of the dumbotards that voted for this Obama Don’t Care law???? How about we just repeal the law(along with the anchor babies) and fire Obumnuts.

  • deadeye

    We just had our open enrollment meeting. The company is renewing early so we can keep our current plans for 11 more months, however they did show that obamacare replacement plans.

    Which raises the PPO individual deductible from $750 to $1500, family from $1500 to $3000,

    Max out of pocket rises from $3500/$7000 to $6350/$12700 and the premiums rise for everyone based on age and family size. Some employees will have to pay an extra $1200 PER MONTH to get double deductibles.

    Unfortunately, what Udall is proposing wouldn’t help, because he’s only helping people on the individual market and not small employers.

  • Matt W

    They are not fools, but they are playing all of us like we are. Unfortunately, most will forget this whole debacle in LESS than two years, and Udall will win a comfortable reelection.

  • Jason Joseph

    Udall, you are an idiot. You and your ilk on the left had the chance to delay Obummercare to avoid a government shutdown but chose to try to score political points. You then blamed the republicans for the shutdown. Now you want to do the very thing the republicans were asking to do. Better start sending out your resumes.

  • joel

    hahaha……..whadda ya all upset about,you voted for and passed legalized mary-jane. Just stay stoned and foredaboutit!

  • Renfru Muldoon

    When Nancy P. said you have to pass the bill before you can read it,she knew it was a BS bill, full of bad ‘medicine’. That’s why Congress and the President left themselves out of it!

  • Ray Oletski

    People, this will never happen! It was all part of the plan. If we were actually allowed to keep outr plans, what would we need Obamacare for? The only reason is to insure the uninsured. To get the money, to cover that cost, Obama could have had a massive tax hike (wouldn’t fly) or charge everybody 2 to 3 to 4 times (or more) for their healthcare! Udall is just doing this to make you think he cares.

  • TKH

    BFD…that’s like putting a band-aid on a severed artery. And as usual, he is late to the game.What a clown! There is a real fix to this problem…SCRAP OBAMACARE!!! It is unworkable, unsustainable, and a complete fiasco.

  • followthemoney

    Just give us until after the next election to get it right (2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016). Trust us, we’re from the government and we’re here to help you.

  • lsjogren

    It appears to me that the Democrats are digging themselves into an even deeper hole.

    We have two political parties in this country that are hellbent on destroying themselves.

    Which party is more skilled at committing suicide? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Tom

    Oh Thank you benevolent dictator Obama/Udall. I worship you allowing me to keep my plan for two more years, I am not worthy but through your gracious actions I have been made whole again. Many Thanks, maybe in two years I can expect some crumbs off your table if you are inclined to allow me. So long as people that care about me are in power I will be fine, I continue to support you, please don’t get made at me, please don’t; hit me again, Ill be good. I promise I will do anything you want. Obama = POS. Udall his toddy.

  • Fast45

    Why didn’t he say this, back at the time he was voting FOR it? First he screws us, now he introduces meaningless legislation to place a Band-Aid on his former stupid vote.

Comments are closed.