Wyden defends health plan

Sen. Ron Wyden’s health plan faces opposition from unions and fellow Democrats.

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Wyden’s ambitious health plan would provide health benefits to workers in the form of a pay increase – and even President Obama is reluctant to support it.

But Wyden’s Healthy Americans Act focuses instead on blowing up the link between health insurance and employment. The bill would give workers their health benefits in the form of a pay raise (along with a tax cut for most on that pay increase), making them responsible for going out and buying their own insurance.

Days after our interview, President Obama piled on Wyden’s plan by telling The Oregonian he agreed with 90 percent of Wyden’s thinking but that his former Senate colleague’s proposal is too “radical” for him to support. Wyden was undaunted, telling WW over the phone, “Whenever the president of the United States says he agrees with 90 percent of what you’re doing, I say with a smile, ‘Mr. President, that sounds pretty good. Let’s go get the other 10 percent.’”

Read the full story at the Willamette Week.