Eighth Senate Dem backs O-Care fix

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) on Tuesday became the latest Senate Democrat to back a legislative fix to ObamaCare that would let people keep their health insurance plan if they like it.

Udall signed up as a co-sponsor to the Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act, S. 1642. That bill would allow insurance companies to keep offering insurance plans that would otherwise have to be canceled because they fail to meet new standards under ObamaCare.

Udall joined the bill without issuing a formal statement, but Senate Democrats are becoming increasingly vocal about the need to change the law. When Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) introduced the bill earlier this month, she said Democrats need to pass legislation to make good on their promise that Americans could keep their health insurance if they like it.

"We said to people that if they have insurance they like, they can keep it," Landrieu said. "We didn't say that if they have insurance they like that doesn't meet the standards or that meets the minimum standards, they can keep it."

Last week, President Obama announced an administrative fix to the bill that allows state insurance commissioners to continue offering those plans that are due for cancellation for another year. But that led to criticism from some insurance companies that said it would be too difficult to reverse course at the last minute and continue these plans.

In addition, some state commissioners have said they would not use this flexibility offered by Obama. That would appear to mean that people in those states would not be allowed to keep their preferred insurance, contrary to Obama's "keep your health plan" promise.

The addition of Udall to the bill only puts more pressure on Senate Democrats to allow a vote on the measure. But so far, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has not said anything about a vote.

Last week, the House passed a similar measure and had the help of 39 Democrats.

Just yesterday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), kept up the pressure for a legislative fix by saying the Obama administration "messed up royally" with the rollout.

Most of the supporters of the legislative fix are up for reelection in 2014: Landrieu herself, plus Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), and Udall.

Other Senate co-sponsors are Manchin and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) — these three senators don't face reelection until 2018.

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