Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) accused President Obama of being “grossly misleading to the American public” with his pledge that people could keep their health insurance under ObamaCare, which is seen as further evidence that the president’s comments are causing divisions among congressional Democrats.
“A lot of Americans, a lot of Oregonians, have stayed with the same policy for a number of years and are shocked that their policy got canceled,” Schrader said during an appearance on KGW-TV over the weekend.
Schrader also accused White House press secretary Jay Carney of “a lot of double talk” when explaining the president’s pledge.
Last week, Obama apologized to Americans who are losing their healthcare coverage despite his promise.
"I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me," he told NBC News.
"We've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them, and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this."
Millions of Americans have received cancellation notices from their insurance companies saying they couldn't keep their current plans because they were purchased after ObamaCare was passed into law, or substantially altered during that period.
Some companies have also opted not to continue offering existing plans, saying that it is too administratively burdensome to manage plans that do not satisfy basic coverage requirements mandated by ObamaCare. Instead, they've offered consumers more expensive plans that include increased benefits.
House Republicans have scheduled a vote this week on a “Keep Your Plan” bill designed to grandfather in plans that existed on the individual market as of Jan. 1, 2013.
It appears that many Democrats will support the legislation, despite concern from the insurance industry and supporters of ObamaCare who say it could undermine the healthcare law.
On Tuesday, former President Clinton said Democrats should change the law so individuals can keep their existing plans.
“I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, that the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they’ve got,” Clinton told OZY.com.
Obama has said his staff is looking into ways that he could tweak the law — administratively or otherwise — to accommodate his promise.
Still, Schrader said he did not believe that ultimately the “horrendous problems that are going on right now” would be a long-term problem for the Democrats.
“I think next year at the election time, people are going to want to know, was I able to sign up?” Schrader said. “And what is the shape of the benefit package I'm going to get and how much is it going to cost me, at the end of the day? I think this will, the sign-up period and problems and the horrendous problems that are going on right now will be way in the past.”