Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) filed paperwork on Monday to seek reelection, in what is expected to be one of the most interesting and consequential races of the 2014 mid-term election, and like most politicians who formally file to run for office, she held a press conference.
But Hagan’s press conference got entertaining. As she was exiting an elections office, the North Carolina Democrat was asked canceled health plans caused by Obamacare, at which point she began running away:
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.
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.
Pete Kaliner, an Asheville-based talk show host, wrote, “I have no idea how…Hagan’s news conference could’ve been worse except had she lit a baby bunny on fire while stomping on the American flag.”
Hagan apparently forgot a press conference is a thing at which politicians field questions from reporters, not an Olympic track event. Here’s the video, which North Carolina voters can expect to see aired on television from now until November:
On at least 24 different occasions, Hagan told North Carolinians that they could keep their health insurance coverage under Obamacare, offering no qualifiers about “substandard policies,” a line that is completely misleading.
The most recent poll out of the Tar Heel State shows Hagan trailing almost all of her potential Republican challengers. Not only has she dodged questions about Obamacare, Hagan has avoided appearances with President Barack Obama and has tried to play down the impact of his unpopular presidency in the race.