As the political winds shifted against Obamacare and those who supported its passage during the past few weeks, Iowa Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley shifted with them. He joined House Republicans in voting for the Keep Your Health Plan Act last week.
Braley’s political calculation is a total flip-flop on the issue. He had the chance to help protect millions Americans from losing their healthcare plans by voting in favor of an amendment to Obamacare in 2009. Instead, Congressman Braley voted against it.
The 2009 amendment, offered by Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida, included just a few lines. Very simply, it stated: “Sec. 102. PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE: Nothing in this division shall prevent or limit individuals from keeping their current health benefit plan.”
The amendment was part of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s discussions of Obamacare. It was defeated in the committee, 32-26. Congressman Bruce Braley was among those 32 representatives voting ‘nay’.
What changed between 2009 and now? Simple. Braley is now running for the U.S. Senate and millions of Americans are losing their health insurance that Braley and his Democrat colleagues told them they could keep.
Here is the explanation offered by Congressman Braley last week on why he voted in favor of legislation that would allow Americans to keep their health insurance that is nullified by Obamacare’s standards: “President Obama promised that Americans could keep their health insurance if they liked it, and Iowans think that promise should be honored. That’s why I supported today’s bill.”
Now that his 2009 vote has come to light, it is time for Mr. Braley to explain why he voted against the same legislation in 2009. Iowans have the right to know.
President Obama was not the only one who told Americans they could keep their health insurance. Braley did too. In an official statement released by his congressional office on March 21, 2010, Braley claimed he had read the entire bill and said it would “allow Americans to maintain their choice of health insurance”.
Bruce Braley is former president of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association. As an attorney, he understands the minutiea of language inserted into congressional bills. If Congressman Braley read the entire Obamacare bill, as he claims, then he surely knew that millions of Americans would lose their health insurance because of the bill.
Bruce Braley had the chance in 2009 to protect Americans who wanted to keep their health insurance. He failed. His vote in favor of near-identical legislation last week came four years too late.
You can view the 2009 amendment offered by Rep. Stearns by clicking here: hr3200_stearns_1
You can view the breakdown of the vote, including Bruce Braley’s ‘nay’, by clicking here: hr3200_stearns_1_rc
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