Conger urges Merkley to back Obamacare delay

POSTED: 9:44 AM PDT October 28, 2013    UPDATED: 6:10 PM PDT October 28, 2013 
State Rep. Jason Conger
BEND, Ore. -

Rep. Jason Conger, R-Bend, who is seeking to unseat Sen. Jeff Merkley, called on him Monday to join other Senate Democrats who have signed a letter urging the Obama administration to defer Obamacare’s individual mandate.

"Corporations, unions, and even Congress have all been granted Obamacare exemptions – in fact, it seems everyone except everyday Americans has been given special treatment," Conger said in a news release.

"If Sen. Merkley is serious about helping the middle class, he will admit that Obamacare has become a train wreck, join Republicans and many independent-minded Democrats calling for delay of the individual mandate and start working to get Oregonians the same deal as the well connected special interests in Washington DC."

Ten Democrat Senators have signed a letter authored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). Currently, Americans are required to buy health insurance through the exchange by March 31st.

The letter asks the Obama administration to extend the health exchange open-enrollment period in light of the troubled rollout.

"I'm surprised Sen. Merkley hasn't already signed the letter," Conger said. "Millions of people across the country will soon get hit with new Obamacare taxes if they don’t have health insurance purchased from the government website – which is obviously unfair when the government website does not work."

Conger says he will continue to travel around the state listening to Oregonians discuss how Obamacare has impacted them, their families and their jobs.

"Obamacare was supposed to make health care more affordable. Instead it has made it more expensive," said Conger. "Obamacare is already hurting young adults, seniors, working families and the middle class.  Continuing the roll out would be reckless - it needs to be delayed immediately and then completely reconsidered."

An e-mail to Merkley's office seeking a response drew no immediate reply.