News / Media

Hagan Deflects Questions, Lies About Obamacare’s Role In Insurance Cancellations

 Raleigh, NC – Kay Hagan’s campaign kickoff yesterday was a complete disaster, overshadowed by her refusal to answer questions about when she knew Obamacare would result in cancellations.

After refusing to answer the question at the press conference, reporters followed her out the door:

REPORTER: “When did you learn people wouldn’t be able to keep their plans?”

HAGAN STAFFER: “Keep moving.”

HAGAN: “You know, it wasn’t clear that insurance companies were selling substandard policies.

Once Hagan reached the parking lot, she was again asked to give a straight answer:

REPORTER: “Was that when the law was written that you realized this, or did you have any timeline when you realized this wasn’t going to be the case?”

HAGAN: “Well once again, as I said earlier, it wasn’t clear that the insurance companies were selling substandard plans. And then they had to go and cancel that. So, you know, where we are today is, I am on a bill that makes permanent the plan that you had, when the Affordable Care Act was signed, that you can keep that plan. And I think that’s where we need to go forward with this.”

Hagan’s claim that insurance companies—not Obamacare—are to blame for the millions of cancellations has been rated “FALSE” by PolitiFact:

  • “Even if it’s technically true that the insurer pulls the plug on a plan, the insurer will only be doing this because the law itself and its implementing regulations have created a context in which, sooner or later, old-fashioned plans will inevitably pass into oblivion — as the law always intended. We rate the statement False.”  (Louis Jacobson, “Valerie Jarrett says ‘nothing in Obamacare forces people out of their health plans,’” PolitiFact, 10/30/13)

Hagan’s claim also received “4 Pinocchios” from The Washington Post’s Fact Checker:

  • “The administration is defending this pledge with a rather slim reed — that there is nothing in the law that makes insurance companies force people out of plans they were enrolled in before the law passed. That explanation conveniently ignores the regulations written by the administration to implement the law. Moreover, it also ignores the fact that the purpose of the law was to bolster coverage and mandate a robust set of benefits, whether someone wanted to pay for it or not.”  (Glenn Kessler, “Obama’s pledge that ‘no one will take away’ your health plan,” Washington Post, 10/30/13)

Hagan is being downright dishonest about what she knew and when she knew it.

If anyone were to know that Obamacare included a grandfather rule that would cause cancellations, it would her. Hagan served on the HELP committee that was responsible for the mark-up of the Obamacare bill in the summer of 2009.

In 2010, Senate Republicans warned their Democratic colleagues that the grandfather rule would cause cancellations:

  • “In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.”  (Chris Frates, “Senate Democrats supported rule that led to insurance cancellations, CNN, 10/31/13)

But despite these warnings, Hagan voted to KEEP the grandfather rule that resulted in 473,000 North Carolinians receiving cancellation notices.

  • “S.J.RES.39: A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule relating to status as a grandfathered health plan under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”  (S.J. RES. 39, Roll Call Vote #244: Failed 40-59; R: 40-0, D: 0-57, I: 0-2, 9/29/10, Hagan Voted No)

“It’s time for Kay Hagan to stop ducking questions and giving false excuses and finally give North Carolinians a straight answer on when she knew that Obamacare would result in cancellations,” said North Carolina Republican Party spokesman Daniel Keylin. “Kay Hagan’s refusal to say what she knew and when she knew it only raises more questions, and North Carolinians have every right to be deeply skeptical of her honesty and credibility.”

###