Eighth Senate Dem backs O-Care fix

Sen. Tom UdallTom UdallSurprise resignation threatens to hobble privacy watchdog Dem bill cracks down on payday lenders Menendez wants vote on ambassador to Mexico MORE (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.

ADVERTISEMENT
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 LandrieuMary Landrieu oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Republican announces bid for Vitter’s seat MORE (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 ReidHarry ReidFreedom Partners Action Fund launches ad buys in Wisconsin, Nevada Trump: 'I'd have to think about' Cruz for Supreme Court Reid: Judiciary a 'rubber stamp' for Trump-McConnell MORE (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 ManchinJoe ManchinWest Virginia Dem defends Clinton support despite coal remarks Reid: Judiciary a 'rubber stamp' for Trump-McConnell Bill Clinton heckled in W.Va. MORE (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 HaganKay Hagan10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2016 Senate Republicans are feeling the 'Trump effect' Washington's lobby firms riding high MORE (D-N.C.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Finance: Fed steady on rates; Dems rally behind retirement rule Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico pressure builds; Big tariff vote Wednesday Senate votes to increase wind energy funding MORE (D-Ore.), Mark PryorMark PryorEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood Ex-Sen. Landrieu joins law and lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.), and Udall.

Other Senate co-sponsors are Manchin and Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinJudiciary Dems seek hearing on voting rights Intel leaders push controversial encryption draft Democrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment MORE (D-Calif.) and Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyDemocrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment GOP blocks Obama sanctions czar Indiana GOP divided over Senate primary MORE (D-Ind.) — these three senators don't face reelection until 2018.

More in Energy & Environment

Democrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment

Read more »