Wyden v. Reid on Public Option and Health Care Choice

More signs that Senator Ron Wyden won’t give up easily on his “free choice” amendment.

Earlier today, the communications arm for Senate Democratic leaders sent out talking points for their Caucus members that included this assertion:

  • Under our plan, if you like what you have you can keep it, but if you don’t there will be affordable choices for you that can’t be taken away.

That drew a quick rebuttal, not from Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, but from Wyden’s Communications Director Jen Hoelzer. Here's what she sent to 490 Democratic Communicators:

I just wanted to flag for colleagues that their bosses should be careful using the talking point that under the Dem bill, Americans who don’t like the coverage they have, will be able to choose something else.

As CBO Director Elmendorf indicated last week, under the current legislation, seven years after implementation, more than 90 percent of Americans will remain barred from shopping for insurance in the exchange. This means that not only will MOST Americans be stuck with the coverage they have – whether they like it or not – if reform establishes a public option, more than 90 percent of Americans won’t be able to choose it. As many of you know, this is why Senator Wyden has been fighting so hard to get his Free Choose proposal into the bill, so that we can tell our constituents that if you don’t like the coverage they have, they can choose something better. But right now, that’s not the case.

Let me know if you have any questions. Jen

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