Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said it’s OK if people are losing “crappy, junk policies” because of Obamacare and pitched for a government-run option in the wake of the problematic start for the exchange.
“When we were debating this way back when and trying to figure out how to do all this, a lot of us on the liberal side said, “Well, OK, we’ll give something to the states. We`ll let the states set up their own exchanges.” Many conservatives wanted to do that. So, we made that agreement. We thought that would be a good idea. So we put it out there. And lo and behold, all these Republican governors who get elected in 2010 and republican legislatures and they dumped it all on the federal government,” Harkin said last night on MSNBC.
“We never expected that. Had we known that from the beginning, the architecture of setting up the exchanges would have been a lot different. But then they dumped in our last. If you look — I’m glad you went to Kentucky because Kentucky, Washington, Colorado, Rhode Island, even the District of Columbia where they set up state exchanges, they’re working just fine.”
The chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee said the website failures are just “a mechanical problem.”
“There’s nothing wrong with the Affordable Care Act, there’s nothing wrong with ObamaCare, we have a problem, yes, and I’m upset about it just as everyone else is, but it’s being fixed. It’s a mechanical problem and it’ll be fixed by the end of this month,” Harkin said.
The only problem, he said, is that Obamacare doesn’t go far enough.
“We need a public option out there. We needed a public option in this program. I fought hard for it. But we didn’t get it. And probably from the very beginning, we should set it up as a federal architecture, as a natural architecture, set it up that way,” the senator said, adding that states now just “want to dump it on the federal government.”
Harkin claimed “the farmers and the small businesses in Iowa are going to have the kind of health care coverage that they’ve never been able to get or afford in the past.”
“Yes, they might have been able to afford to get some policy but it didn’t cover anything. And there was a lot of policies out there that were quite frankly crappy, junk policies. Well now, no more of those junk policies. People will have good, solid policies.”
Harkin even predicted “you’re going to see a lot more entrepreneurs starting small businesses and getting into business because now they’ll have health care and health care coverage for their workers which they couldn’t have before.”