A spokeswoman for red state Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) confirmed to a local newspaper Thursday that her boss knew insurance cancellations would increase under the Affordable Care Act.
In response to a series of Obamacare questions from North Carolina GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mark Harris–Harris and fellow GOP U.S. Senate candidates like North Carolina House Speaker Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) have been needling Hagan on Obamacare’s failures for days–Hagan’s spokeswoman admitted that the Senator was involved in crafting the language of the actual legislation.
“First, this is nothing more than a political stunt that does nothing to help more people get access to care and highlights the difference between Kay, who is working to fix this law, and her opponents who don’t have any plan to reform our broken health care system,” Hagan spokeswoman Sadie Weiner told the News and Record, a Greensboro, NC newspaper. “In her capacity as a member of the HELP Committee, Senator Hagan was involved with that committee’s markup of the health care reform bill in the summer of 2009.”
In the next sentence of the quote, Weiner states that her boss Hagan was aware of the fact that people would lose their healthcare plans under Obamacare some time ago.
“Once insurance companies began disingenuously offering plans that they knew they would be canceling it became clear that more people would be getting cancellation letters,” Weiner said.
“That’s why Senator Hagan supports the Landrieu bill to allow people to stay on their current plans,” Weiner added. “Yes she read the bill.”
Weiner has not answered a series of questions from Breitbart News in response to this admission–including when specifically Hagan knew that at least some people were going to lose their plans and when she learned that “more people” were going to as well. However, she did refer Breitbart News, upon a request for comment, to an updated quote that she gave to the local paper.
“Yeah I could have phrased that better,” Weiner said in the updated quote. “The full scope of the problem became clear only when cancellation letters started going out, since information on non-ACA compliant plans was not made public by the insurance companies. And remember–we are talking about this because insurance companies were disingenuously offering plans that they knew they would have to cancel, and Kay is supporting a bill to fix it.”
Weiner’s updated quote is not a retraction of the original statement. It does not address whether Sen. Hagan anticipated whether health plans existing at the time of the ACA’s drafting would be in compliance with the bill’s regulations or not. It does not address whether it “became clear” to Hagan that cancellations would increase before she promised Americans they could keep their healthcare plans after the bill’s passage–a promise which, as Breitbart News’ John Nolte reported this week, still stands on her official website.
Harris, one of the GOP candidates in the primary vying for the chance to run against Hagan in 2014, told Breitbart News in response to this revelation–one that his pressure on Hagan prompted–that Hagan’s spokeswoman just admitted that the senator is in serious trouble over Obamacare.
“Unfortunately, this admission shows that Senator Hagan knew all along that unsuspecting citizens would be booted off their current plans while she was out promising time after time that ‘if they liked their healthcare plan they can keep it,'” Harris said in an email. “And if that wasn’t enough, Senator Hagan has sidestepped all accountability and has blamed the entire debacle on the healthcare insurance providers.”
Jordan Shaw, the campaign manager and spokesman for Tillis’s campaign, told Breitbart News Thursday they believe this comment shows Hagan has misled her constituents.
“Based on the comments of her spokeswoman, it’s apparent that Kay Hagan has been lying to the people of North Carolina for the last four years,” Shaw said Thursday evening. “This is more evidence that Kay Hagan and President Obama knew the consequences of the Affordable Care Act when they wrote it and misled the American people in order to pass it.”
Weiner has not responded to further requests for comment or clarification.