By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog
LINCOLN, Neb. — The head of the Nebraska Republican Party said U.S. Senate candidate Bob Kerrey is all over the map regarding the federal health-care law, after his comment that he “hates” the law’s requirement that businesses provide health insurance for workers or pay a fine.
Beginning in 2014, businesses with more than 50 full-time employees must provide their employees with health insurance or pay a fine of $2,000 per employee, according to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Kerrey told Nebraska Watchdog’s Joe Jordan (see video below) on Friday that this part of the law should be repealed. Business owners might stop providing health insurance benefits, because paying the penalty would be cheaper, Kerrey said.
“I support the law. I want to fix it,” he said. “I want to make improvements to it.”
The former Nebraska governor and U.S. senator is running for his old Senate seat against state Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Valentine.
He told a Rotary club that his Nebraska businesses — Grandmother’s restaurants and Prairie Life health clubs — might opt to drop health insurance, which costs at least $7,000 per employee annually. Then the employees could purchase insurance from health-care exchanges, which are online marketplaces that offer health coverage, required under ACA.
Kerrey has supported federalizing health insurance — while running for president, he proposed a single-payer national health plan.
Fischer wants to repeal ACA and replace it with policies that permit market forces to lower health-care costs, such as limiting medical malpractice judgments and allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines.
GOP state chairman Mark Fahleson expressed surprise that Kerrey would “dump his company’s employees” from private insurance and “force them into the government plan.”
Claiming Kerrey trails badly in the polls Fahleson said, “Desperate men do desperate things.”
Contact Deena Winter at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @DeenaNEWatchdog.
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