Oops: Sen Wyden (D-OR) advises how to get around insurance mandate

Posted on September 3, 2010


It’s bad enough that Democrats find themselves unwilling and unable to campaign on their supposedly fantastic legislative achievements, including what we were told was an absolutely necessary health care reform bill. Now, a Senate Democrat, Ron Wyden from Oregon, is reportedly advising his home state how to get around a key provision in the health care law. From the Wall Street Journal:

Last week Mr. Wyden sent a letter to Oregon health authority director Bruce Goldberg, encouraging the state to seek a waiver from certain ObamaCare rules so it can “come up with innovative solutions that the Federal government has never had the flexibility or will to implement.”

One little-known provision of the bill allows states to opt out of the “requirement that individuals purchase health insurance,” Mr. Wyden wrote, and “Because you and I believe that the heart of real health reform is affordability and not mandates, I wanted to bring this feature of Section 1332 to the attention of you and the legislature.”

Now, that’s news. One of the Democratic Party’s leading experts on health care wants his state to dump the individual mandate that is among ObamaCare’s core features. The U-turn is especially notable because Mr. Wyden once championed an individual mandate in the bill he sponsored with Utah Republican Bob Bennett.

I’d say this is pretty newsworthy. Sen. Wyden voted for this healthcare monstrosity, and the individual mandate is one of the key provisions that makes the whole behemoth work (however unconstitutional it may be). Now he’s advising the folks at home to obtain a waiver to get around the mandate – why wouldn’t all fifty states now want to take advantage of this section?

The article points out that it’s unlikely such a waiver would be granted by anyone in the present administration, but the simple fact that Sen. Wyden finds the mandate burdensome for his home state should be troubling indeed.

This is an absolute embarrassment for Democrats and a further illustration of what a putrid mess of a bill the party in power passed simply so they could have their moment in the sun. They are suffering due to their arrogance, but America will still be stuck with the awful consequences of this bill regardless of how badly Democrats are punished in November.

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Posted in: News, Politics