Sen. Deb Fischer heaps more criticism on the federal healthcare law even as it comes under its second day of scrutiny on Capitol Hill.
Fischer tells reporters during a conference call her office has been fielding complaints from constituents about the law. She reads letters and emails that complain they cannot keep the insurance they have, they have had to pay more for a new health insurance plan, and have had to accept coverage they don’t want or need.
“These are constituents who are very upset. They’re scared and many of them feel duped,” Fischer says. “They aren’t looking for somebody to blame. What they want and what they’re looking for is for someone to get the government off their back.”
Fischer’s comments come as the Obama Administration defends the law by claiming the healthcare.gov problems reflect a technical problem, not an overriding problem with the law.
Troubles mounted even as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius took responsibility for the poor rollout of the law before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The website crashed and was not working for most of the morning while Sebelius testified before the committee.
Fischer, a Republican, has been a vocal opponent of the law, both during her 2012 campaign for United States Senate and after being elected to the Senate. Fischer advocates the law’s repeal.
In the meantime, Fischer has thrown her support to an effort in Congress to solidify a promise embedded in the law and articulated by President Barack Obama. The president consistently said that if Americans liked their insurance policies they would be able to keep them under the law.
Many Americans have been sent notices that they cannot keep their old plan and must sign up for a new one.
“And we need to hold the president accountable for the promise he made to the American people when selling this signature legislation of his,” Fischer says.
On Tuesday, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Director Marilyn Tavenner apologized before the House Ways and Means Committee for the healthcare website rollout, but called the problems “fixable”.
AUDIO: Sen. Deb Fischer reads constituent complaints about healthcare law to reporters during conference call. [3:30]