Sen. Hagan struggles to explain when she knew people would not be able to keep their insurance

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, who has been under fire from conservatives over the federal health care law, refused on Monday to answer questions about what she knew about the laws limits.

Like President Barack Obama, Hagan said the Affordable Care Act would allow North Carolinians to keep their existing insurance plans if they liked them. The pledge proved false – and earned Obama PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year honors.

But the details about what Hagan knew about the law’s limits and when she learned itremains unclear. Asked about it again Monday at a press conference in Raleigh, after she made her re-election bid official at the State Board of Elections, Hagan avoided the question.

Pressed on the question two more times as reporters followed her outside to the parking lot, Hagan did not answer. She offered this explanation without further details: “it wasn’t clear that insurance companies were selling substandard policies.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s largest insurer, responded by saying Hagan’s comments “are simply not true and she should know better.” Company spokesman Lew Borman said the insurer notified customers that they could keep a grandfathered plan. Customers were also given an opportunity to return to a grandfathered plan, Borman said.

“The fact is that every step along the way, we have taken every available opportunity to make sure our customers understood the impacts of the ACA and grandfathering,” Borman said by email. “We have been very open with our customers about the cost and benefits of the ACA. It’s unfortunate that Senator Hagan has not done the same.”
It is not that the questions were unexpected, it was a case of the spin not working because there is no good explanation.  She either knew it at the time the law was passed or she did not read it and found out about the problem after the fact.  While the latter is probably the case it also is not a satisfactory answer to why Democrats screwed up so badly.


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