Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, is not saying whether he thinks President Barack Obama misled the American people by repeatedly stating they could keep their health insurance plans if they liked them, while knowing some would lose their plans. Braley voted Friday for a bill in the U.S. House that would let people keep their insurance plans.
He was asked during his weekly conference call with reporters if the vote was a way to distance himself from the president on the issue. “My focus has been and always will be on fixing the Affordable Care Act and making it work for Iowans,” Braley replied, “And that includes improving the Affordable Care Act as concerns arise and need to be addressed.”
Braley was asked directly if he thought the president mislead Americans. “I think that the people in Iowa are smart, they knew that there was a lot of discussion about this bill and they’re smart enough to figure out what went on. I am going to continue to talk to them about what I’m doing to try to fix these problems and make them work for Iowans,” Braley says.
Braley is running for the U.S. Senate seat that will be left open in 2014 by the retirement of Senator Tom Harkin. Harkin, a Democrat, was key in pushing through the health care legislation and Braley was asked if that has an impact on his lack of criticism of the Democrat president on the health care implementation problems. “I don’t believe Senator Harkin has voted on anything similar to what was on the floor of the House on Friday. And it’s important for people to remember that it was President Obama not me, who issued and executive order to allowing policies that didn’t meet the Affordable Care Act Standards to continue to be sold in 2014.”
Braley says it is the president and administration’s job to fix the problems with the health care website. “My job is to provide the oversight and continue to work to try to fix the problems as they come up, so that Iowans get the access to the coverage they deserve,” Braley says.
The “Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013” passed the House on a 261-157 vote, with Braley as one of the 39 Democrats to vote for it. Iowa’s other Democrat Congressman, Dave Loebsack, also voted for the bill, as did Republicans Tom Latham and Steve King.