- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
- Law firm that cleared N.J. Gov. Christie in ‘Bridgegate’ gave 10K to RGA, which he heads
- PETA ‘hopping mad’ at Michelle Obama for using real eggs at Easter Egg Roll
- Sneaky Nebraska toddler traps self inside claw machine game
- Biden to lead $600 million work force training effort
- Atheists’ Easter taunt to Christians: ‘Jesus is a myth’
- Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas City show
- Josh Romney swipes Harry Reid with photo tweet of dad paying taxes — ‘your paycheck’
- Despite Obamacare problems, some Dems want Sebelius to run for Senate: report
Durbin open to changes to fix Obamacare
President’s promise on coverage should be ‘clarified’
The second-ranking Democrat in the Senate said Tuesday he'd be "open to discussing changes" in President Obama's health care law and that "a couple more sentences" would have clarified Mr. Obama's promise to Americans that they could keep their insurance plans under the law.
"We need to be open to constructive changes to make this law work better, but there are those, frankly, who don't want it to work at all," Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat. said on CNN. "If those on the other side are willing to sit down in a constructive fashion, move us toward our goal of making health insurance available to more and more Americans and reducing cost, that's a good, positive thing to do."
Addressing President Clinton's remarks earlier in the day that Mr. Obama should allow people to keep the plans they have, even if it means a change in the law, Mr. Durbin said: "If we can get a bipartisan group together, we can start to solve some of the problems we're facing."
Mr. Durbin said proposals floating around that would allow people to keep their insurance plans for a year deserve "a close look," as some are designed to derail the larger effort. He said new health benefits like banning denial of coverage because of pre-existing conditions and lifetime limits on payouts for cancer victims should be part of insurance policies, and if they're taken away it could create chaos for the market.
"A couple more sentences added to it would have clarified it, and they should have been added," Mr. Durbin said of Mr. Obama's "if you like it, you can keep it" pledge. "The president has apologized; I think he said very clearly he was sorry if he misled people."
The bottom line, Mr. Durbin said, is that 1.8 million people in his home state and 40 million people across the country don't have health insurance.
"It should have been added that in this private insurance market, every two years two out of three policies are canceled [and] changed," he said. "This happens frequently in this niche of the market, this part of the market, and it should have been clarified from the start. ...I certainly wasn't in on that decision, but I will tell you that we have got to keep our eye on the goal."
"I said it because I believed it," he said. "Now I know that I should have added, 'For 98 percent of American people, that is exactly true, for the other two percent who are in the individual market, there's frequent changes in policies, people are used to increases in their premiums and changes in their policies — that is something that is a reality. It should have been clarified."
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Michael Bloomberg charts $50M challenge to NRA: 'Got to make them afraid'
- McAuliffe's PAC off to fast start, with $254,000 raised in two weeks
- Virginia Republican Bob Marshall stands by remarks that raise eyebrows
- Obama urged to enforce ban on importing military-style firearms
- Va. Senate approves Medicaid expansion, but budget stands no chance in House
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- Ga. judge won't stop new Vidalia onion rule
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- EDITORIAL: Intolerance at Brandeis silences Muslim dissident Hirsi Ali
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.