NEWS: Associated Press: Health care law to cancel 150,000 Ore. plans

October 31, 2013

As Obama Fends Off Fact Checkers, Oregon Officials Announce 150,000 to Lose Coverage Due to President’s Law

Walden: President’s Broken Promises are “Grossly Unfair”

As President Obama was attempting to fend off fact checkers yesterday, calling criticism of his broken promise “grossly misleading,” officials in Oregon announced that 150,000 residents will see their plans terminated by the end of the year as a direct result of the president’s health law. On Wednesday, The Washington Post noted that President Obama had abandoned his repeated promise, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” Unfortunately, the 150,000 Oregonians join a growing list: 800,000 in New Jersey, 300,000 in Florida, and 279,000 in California will lose their current coverage. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) this week introduced the Keep Your Health Plan Act, H.R. 3350, to protect the many Americans whose health plans are being cancelled because of the health law.

Oregon Rep. Greg Walden commented, “Folks in Oregon and across the nation are learning President Obama’s broken promises are grossly unfair. Sadly, we are now five weeks into the health law’s rollout and more people are losing their health coverage that they like and want to keep than are actually signing up for the president’s plan. Our Keep Your Health Plan Act will provide peace of mind to folks receiving termination notices in Oregon and across the nation that if they like their plan, they’ll be able to keep it. It’s a basic matter of fairness.”  

October 30, 2013

Health care law to cancel 150,000 Ore. plans

PORTLAND -- Officials said about 150,000 Oregonians enrolled in individual health care plans will see their plans canceled by the end of the year because they don't provide the minimum level of coverage required under the new health care law.

State Insurance Division spokeswoman Cheryl Martinis said Wednesday that those facing cancellations could see a break in coverage if they don't enroll in a new plan on the state's problem-plagued online exchange by Dec. 15.

A month in, the state has not enrolled a single person. It has received 4,260 paper applications and its website still can't tell people what subsidies they are eligible for.

Though Cover Oregon officials said they're working to resolve the problems, they declined to name a date when they expect the website will be functional and they could not explain how they plan to enroll thousands of people within a short time span.

While Oregon has an estimated 600,000 uninsured, the situation is most dire for about 11,000 Oregonians who are part of the state's high-risk insurance pool - a program for those rejected by private insurance carriers because of pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or severe heart conditions.

These sickest of residents will see the state's insurance pool dissolve by year's end, because denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions is no longer allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

If they don't meet a Dec. 15 deadline to enroll, they will find themselves without health insurance on Jan. 1.

"When you're chronically ill, you have medical needs, you have a lot of specialists you need to go to on a regular basis. In our case, it could be tragic if we miss the Dec. 15 deadline," said Lake Oswego resident Cynthia Johnson, 57, a breast cancer survivor who also has chronic fatigue syndrome and is insured through the pool.

Concerns are mounting that some of the most vulnerable Oregonians may face a break in coverage if they don't enroll within the next month and a half. ...

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