A Republican rival is suggesting U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan should resign immediately, saying the Democrat knew the federal health care law would force people from their health coverage. But Hagan’s spokeswoman said Charlotte pastor Mark Harris’ accusation is not true.
The Harris campaign points to comments made by Hagan spokeswoman Sadie Weiner to Greensboro News & Record reporter Travis Fain. On Thursday, Harris requested a probe into what Hagan knew about the federal health insurance law. Weiner told The News & Record, “In her capacity as a member of the HELP Committee, Senator Hagan was involved with that committee’s markup of the health care reform bill in the summer of 2009. Once insurance companies began disingenuously offering plans that they knew they would be canceling it became clear that more people would be getting cancellation letters. That’s why Senator Hagan supports the Landrieu bill to allow people to stay on their current plans. Yes, she read the bill.”
Weiner later added more clarification, telling Fain that she didn’t mean to suggest Hagan knew some people wouldn’t be able to keep their plans. “The full scope of the problem became clear only when cancellation letters started going out, since information on non-ACA compliant plans was not made public by the insurance companies,” Weiner added. “And remember – we are talking about this because insurance companies were disingenuously offering plans that they knew they would have to cancel, and Kay is supporting a bill to fix it.”
Harris apparently didn’t see the clarification and is pushing his call on the first vague remark from Weiner.
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“In March of 2013 Hagan’s office admitted that she would “hedge” on issues and “play it safe,” now they have admitted that she knowingly lied and misled the people of North Carolina,” he said in a statement Friday morning. “This is shameful, inexcusable, and exactly the type of political desperation that the citizens of North Carolina are tired of seeing. Based on her office’s terrible admission of lying and misleading the people of our state, knowingly making a promise to the citizens that she is supposed to represent, we call for Kay Hagan’s resignation, effective immediately. It is time that we had some real leadership, an official that will admit when they are wrong – not lie and cover up – and one that is actually accountable to the citizens that they are supposed to represent.”
Another Republican challenger, House Speaker Thom Tillis, is likewise trying to make political hay without considering the clarification, demanding records from a Senate health committee that Hagan sits on.
The episode shows the extent to which Republicans are trying to pounce on Hagan for the Obama administration’s troubled health insurance roll out.