House Votes to Let Americans Keep Health Plans; 39 Dems Defy Obama

Helping the President to keep a promise he made four years ago, the House of Representatives voted to allow Americans to keep their health plans for one more year.

Nearly 40 House Democrats defied President Obama and helped the Republican majority pass a bill Friday that lets Americans keep, for one year, health plans that do not comply with ObamaCare.

The defections from 39 members of Mr. Obama’s party highlighted the pressure on Congress to help people who lost coverage because of the president’s signature law, as balky websites keep a veil over alternative plans and pressure mounts on the Democrat-led Senate to forge a remedy.

Oddly enough, the bill was passed despite a veto threat from President Obama, who opposed it. This comes as a surprise considering the president said he was in favor of allowing Americans to temporarily keep their plans.

Comments (20)

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  1. Keith says:

    What about the state insurance commissioners who have come out and said they are not going to comply with this? Will the federal govt step in to correct this?

  2. Hank says:

    This is going to be a nightmare for insurance companies to “re-strategerize”

  3. Wilbur says:

    Woo! Another pointless gesture!

    • JD says:

      You are right that there is no direct impact, but this helps the Republicans frame the case against ObamaCare.

      • Layne says:

        Now Republicans need to come up with a ligament backup plan.

        • John R. Graham says:

          A “ligament” backup plan? Like a knee replacement? (Light humor on Friday afternoon).

        • John Fembup says:

          If I notice that your house is on firs and call the fire department – – need I come up with some “alternate” plan for you?


          • Dupree says:

            I don’t know about you, but Id be doing my level best with the lawn hose until they do show up. But what was your point again?

            • John Fembup says:

              “But what was your point again?”

              Do you deliberately miss the point?

              Of course a good neighbor will alert the fire department. A good neighbor will also pick up their lawn hose, too. I don’t think you are saying that you would use your hose and NOT call the fire department – are you?

              But both of those actions fall short of offering an “alternative” to your neighbor – that is, how to repair or rebuild the burning house.

              And it’s not necessary to offer that “alternative” in order to notify the fire department and pick up your lawn hose.

              That’s the point Dupree.

              • Dupree says:

                Don’t like it when your completely off-topic strawman goes up in flames do you? I still have this lawn hose here. Need it?

  4. Adam says:

    “The defections from 39 members of Mr. Obama’s party”

    I love that we phrase it in terms of betrayal and treason. That should engender goodwill.

    • Ronald says:

      This is about as polarized as it gets.

    • John Fembup says:

      This is not “defection” – it’s political theater designed to give certain House Democrats cover. Specifically, it’s an attempt to cover for those Democrat representatives who face the toughest re-election fights next year.

      There is no way in the world that any House bill on this issue will ever be brought up for a vote in the Senate.

      So the House vote is meaningless. Completely meaningless. It’s pure political theater.

      None of the Dem representatives has changed their mind about Obamacare one iota. Don’t be suckered into believing they have.

  5. Crawford says:

    I assume this is going to make the risk pool even riskier for those in the ACA exchange, will we see a death spiral begin to form within this upcoming year?

  6. JD says:

    “Oddly enough, the bill was passed despite a veto threat from President Obama, who opposed it. This comes as a surprise considering the president said he was in favor of allowing Americans to temporarily keep their plans.”

    This will look bad for Obama (again). People are upset, but cautiously optimistic about the future of ObamaCare. If he pushes people into a terrible system, he’s going to feel the backlash.

    • Rutledge says:

      Obama will spend the next 3-years will primarily focusing on this system that is seriously lacking feasibility.

  7. John R. Graham says:

    I think the major difference between the President’s change and the House’s is that the House bill would allow new people to sign up for the “old” plans, whereas the President’s only allows people to keep their plans.

    Even though many Democrats in both chambers would have loved to vote for a bill that achieved this (although I think it is likely impossible to execute), the President will not allow PPACA to be opened up. It would be a Pandora’s box.

    Does he not plan to amend PPACA to reflect his changes until Democrats have the House majority and 60 votes in the Senate? That is not likely to happen during his tenure.

    PPACA on the ground is starting to look only distantly related to PPACA on paper. The rule of law is tattered.

  8. Perry says:

    The law means nothing right now because Obama can change it when he wants. Now that’s criminal.
    Let’s just let it blow up and get this over with.

  9. Erik says:

    What people are missing is he merely kicked the issue back to the states. Those states with a State Exchange are doing fine. Those states with a Federal Exchange are problematic and the insurance companies are in no way obligated to maintain the current plans being cancelled and I doubt they will. Plans change every year already.

    What will appear is the intransigence of the opposition to the law. Eventually those Federal Exchange states are going to have to do a better job at implementing their own exchanges or pay for it at the ballot box.

    The current vote does not change anything, pure Kabuki.