It is with great dismay that I’ve learned about your joining in the effort to “reform” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Specifically, in allowing consumers to keep insurance policies which no longer meet the standards of the PPACA.
Any cursory review of the matter will show that the insurance companies are behind the effort to scupper the successful implementation of the PPACA. They could have easily informed their customers that their current plans do not meet the requirements of the Act, and worked to provide them with plans which do pass muster. For reference, you can read this investigation published by Talking Points Memo: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/insurance-companies-misleading-letters-obamacare. Insurance companies are cancelling customers’ insurance plans, without informing them of the options available on the health exchanges. Obviously, this is a problem of their own creation, and one which has now exploded into accusations of “broken promises”.
Being the senior Senator from California, a state which has its own health exchange, I’m very saddened that you would lend your name to an effort by frightened red state Democrats to show “independence” from President Obama. The President has always said that he’s open to making the law better. This “reform” would raise insurance premiums for everyone, and encode insurance plans which are near fraudulent into law. This goes directly against the aim of the PPACA, which is to provide everyone in the United States with comprehensive, affordable health care. The plans which the insurance companies are cynically cancelling are far from comprehensive; and while they may be “affordable” in regards to a monthly premium, their high deductibles make them near worthless.
I urge you to reconsider your stance. You are seen as a leader among Democrats in the Senate; you do yourself and the people of California a disservice by lending your name to this effort by colleagues running for the hills. Among my friends and family, we always wonder why Democrats can never stand firm in the face of an assault of lies and disinformation from those on the Right and in the corporate media. As a party, we have a chance to take back the House and increase our majority in the Senate in 2014. This can only happen if we stand firm, and fight lies with truth, rather than “triangulating” against the President. If that happens, 2014 will be another 2010, with grievous consequences for the country.
Please stand with the President in finding a workable fix for a problem brought about by insurance companies. Making the PPACA successful is the surest route to electoral success.
This is your midweek open thread.