The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

November 15, 2013

Walz joins Republicans in Obamacare vote

MANKATO — U.S. Rep. Tim Walz joined two other Minnesota Democrat lawmakers Friday in bucking their party and voting for the Republican proposal to address issues the Affordable Care Act.

Obama recently moved to address issues with the law that resulted in an estimated 140,000 Minnesota residents alone losing their existing coverage, despite the president's promise leading up to the law's implementation. Obama said this week that insurance companies would be allowed to keep offering these policies, which were dropped due to being out of compliance with the law, for one more year.

The Mankato Democrat joined the Republican bill that passed Friday, which allows insurance providers to indefinitely keep selling plans that do not comply with the law. The bill passed in the U.S. House by a vote of 261 to 157 with 39 Democrats voting for the measure. U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan and U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson were the other Minnesota Democrats to vote for the measure.

“As I’ve always said, health care reform is a journey not a destination," Walz said in a written statement. "There will need to be fixes to the law along the way. While many folks may find higher quality, better value coverage on the marketplace, if you’re insured currently and you like your plan, you should be able to keep it. Although I’d rather have seen a stronger bill pass the House — a bill that allows folks to keep their plans, but also informs them of the plans' deficiencies compared to new options on the marketplace — I believe this is a good starting point to fix the problem, which is why I supported it today,"

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