U.S. Sen. Mark Begich spoke with Fox and Friends this morning where he announced that he is supporting a fix to the new health care law that will allow Alaskans and all Americans in the individual market to keep their insurance plan if they like it.
"I am disappointed in how this has been implemented and rolled out. There have been too many people making decisions who weren't coordinating with each other and not enough focus on how to make this system work," said Begich. "At the end of the day we need happy customers and people should be satisfied with their health plans which is why I'm supporting a fix to law which will allow folks to keep their insurance if they like it. I support making it permanent so that families who have received notifications that their health plans are cancelled can continue to keep their health care if it works for them."
The Continuous Coverage Act protects against rate hikes by preserving important market reforms designed to spread risk and stabilize the new health marketplace. Alaskans will be able to choose between keeping their plan or choosing a plan on the new Marketplace, where approximately 55,000 Alaskans will be eligible for subsidies to lower monthly premiums. Following Sen. Begich's interview, President Obama put forth a proposal to allow people to keep their plan for a year. Expressing concerns about the overall effect of the short term proposal and how soon it will be implemented, Sen. Begich will continue to press the administration for more details.
Sen. Begich has vocally criticized the President for the botched health care roll out and joined a select group of Senators in a two-hour meeting last week with where he voiced his frustrations directly to the President. The President issued an apology following the meeting. Citing the importance of having the exact same experience as other Alaskans, Sen. Begich also recently signed up on Alaska's federally run marketplace, forgoing any employer contribution to his plan.
Sen. Begich has proposed multiple fixes to the health care law, proposals which include repealing the burdensome 1099 requirement, delaying the employer mandate by two years, improving and expanding small business tax credits, and helping states create more insurance competition for small businesses.