Thursday, November 14, 2013

Harkin Staying Busy

Ya know, I'm looking forward to Bruce Braley, but nevertheless I'll miss Tom Harkin.

Still quacking but showing no signs of limping, Harkin was on the job and not in Switzerland, both before and after the president's press conference, making the progressive case against junk insurance plans.
"If it had been up to me, I am not certain I would have made this decision, but the President felt it was important to do," Harkin said in a statement. "My hope, however, is that everyone who has received a cancellation notice will fully and carefully consider their options."

Harkin said that the canceled plans typically don't give consumers the best coverage.

"In the vast majority of cases, they will find that the coverage that they were paying good money for is not worth the paper it was printed on," he said. "If they go to the marketplace, however, they can get quality coverage – in some cases paying a little more, perhaps, but getting many more benefits."
This was always going to be the hardest moment of selling Obamacare, harder even than passage: the point when the young and healthy had to buy in, and one of the reasons I was and am a single-payer guy.

(The president was realistic about the difficulties today, with one notable exception: "Buying health insurance is never going to be like buying a song on iTunes," he said, assuming people actually still PAY for music.)

As luck would have it, Harkin is in our fair Iowa City tomorrow, for an event sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign and OneIowa celebrating Senate passage of the Employer Non-Discrimination Act.
“ENDA marks another historic step in the long march to full equality for all Americans,” Harkin said. “By voting to outlaw discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity, we are saying to our LGBT brothers and sisters that they are fully included and respected members of our American family. Eight out of 10 Americans already think such discrimination is illegal and by moving to pass this into law, we can ensure that workplaces across the country are open and welcoming to every qualified worker eager to contribute to the economy. I thank my colleagues in the Senate on both sides of the aisle for making this possible and urge the House to move swiftly to pass this bill and send it to the President’s desk for his signature.”
Intoducing Harkin tomorrow is Iowa City's own Zach Wahls. 3:00, Prairie Lights.

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