November 15th, 2013
01:38 PM ET
11 months ago

House passes proposed GOP Obamacare changes

Updated 4 p.m. ET, 11/15/2013

(CNN) - The House approved Republican legislation on Friday giving health insurers the option of extending plans through 2014 that would otherwise be canceled for not complying with Affordable Care Act standards.

The bill, approved 261-157, would also allow new customers to enroll in those plans. Thirty-nine Democrats crossed party lines and joined a nearly unanimous GOP caucus in voting for the measure proposed by Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan.

It has little to no chance of clearing the Democratic-controlled Senate, however.

The White House has also indicated President Barack Obama would veto the measure if it reaches his desk, saying the Republican plan would undermine the integrity of the law aimed at providing health coverage to millions of Americans without it.

The Senate is taking a wait-and-see attitude about possible legislation over the politically charged insurance cancellations after Obama ordered administrative steps on Thursday to address the matter.

Obama's signature domestic policy initiative has been marred by the disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website, which allows consumers to buy new health plans online, and by the policy cancellations.

Both problems have put congressional Democrats in a difficult political position since the Affordable Care Act was approved in 2010 with no Republican support and signed by Obama, a Democratic president.

Earlier, the House rejected a similar plan offered by Democrats, but it was more restrictive than the Republican measure and therefore not supported by the majority.

Separately, Obama sat down with insurance company executives on Friday at the White House.

Prior to the meeting, the President said that he and his administration would brainstorm with and solicit ideas from industry on how to smoothly carry out the changes he is making to the Affordable Care Act.

Obama said there would be a "collaborative process" around his proposal to reverse insurance plan cancellations due to broader coverage requirements under the sweeping law.

"We want to make sure that we get this done," Obama said.


Filed under: Congress • House • Obamacare
soundoff (354 Responses)
  1. joyce

    The Washington Post today would have us believe the only thing wrong with the ACA law
    is the fact that oh-oh the web site isn't working. Tell me this WaPo is it the website
    that is sending out those cancellation letters..is it the website that is charging
    for services that people don't need? One would think that if the glitches
    from operating Ocare were eliminiated the law would be just fine.
    No way.

    November 15, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Catori Shadi

    This is not about you. It's about your neighbor who's insurance doesn't cover flu shots and has a $5,000 deductible.

    He ends up going to the ER, which isn't fully covered either and the vast majority of that $500 he racks up in the ER, with flu – gets passed on to you.

    Be sure to cheer for that.

    November 15, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Sunflower52

    I guess the milk of human kindness has dried up in my breast. It shakes out like this: Those that could afford full insurance coverage had the money to pay for it and the common sense enough to know that even if they might never need to use it, it was still a good idea to have it. Those that could afford it but decided they would be healthy all their lives had to be either stupid or clairvoyant. The ones that couldn't afford it, but would loved to have had it just in case it was needed either made too much to qualify for Medicaid or if they qualified for Medicaid, were too lazy to apply for it. Anyway you slice it smart, stupid, middle class, or poor, healthcare is not a priority for most of our well insured legislators. The smart will get great care, the stupid will continue to believe they and theirs are invincible and float merrily along until something as simple as a bad cold or a true disaster hits and then they'll hit tail it to the nearest ER and expect the responsible members of society to pick up their tab. The middle class will either do without (and do what the stupid do) , get insurance on the exchange, or hoard what little they can as a hedge against health problems since they make too much for Medicaid. The poor, well, the poor has Medicaid. How sad is it that of all the categories, the middle class working family are the most likely to have to do without insurance. In addition their are also the most likely to pay higher taxes because they, through no fault of their own they just make just a little too little or just a little too much, will have no other option but to continue to use the ER for all their medical needs. Sad, very, very sad.

    November 15, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Wild Hair

    Of course he's going to veto something that he himself already said he was going to do. If he doesn't veto, he doesn't get to exercise his POWER, even when he's pitting against his own power lol. He shouldn't be President now, in the future and never should have been in the past. What a freaking moron!

    November 15, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Smeagel4T

    I really don't think the GOP realizes that the end-game for their path is Single Payer. What does the GOP expect? Put the US back on the old FAILED health insurance industry system, and everyone will then return to complaining about how THAT system isn't working. That'll simply result in even more people supporting Single Payer because all over the world there are Single Payer systems working extremely well. Systems that are delivering TWICE the results of the US system at HALF the cost of the US system. If the GOP thinks the American people are going to sit around a suddenly start loving the old FAILED system, they're delusional.

    November 15, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. jeff579

    I honestly wonder if any of the supporters of the ACA have even looked at the details of the coverage? "Affordable"? The deductables on these plans are way too high for ANYONE that is low income to afford ($5,000.00 or even higher). This means that sure, it will pay for a Flu shot for free, but God help you if you actually get sick. Or, is there going to be another government handout to cover the deductables too?

    November 15, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "This is a bi-partisan bill, better think long and hard about it before dismissing it, Senators."

    Yawn. The Senate immigration bill is even more bipartisan by percentages. Tell you what, I'll agree with you that Reid should allow the Senate to vote on this particular legislation IF AND ONLY IF Boehner agrees to put the Senate's immigration reform bill to the entire House for a vote.

    Your move, Jethro.

    November 15, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Mick Dundee

    Obummer looks like a clown and dumbo™ with his huge ears! LOL

    November 15, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. FactCheck

    So basically the "bill" would allow insurance companies to continue selling "coverages" that don't cover anything. Yup, sounds about right for the party of the oligarchs.

    November 15, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. jamessavik

    Isn't this exactly the reason that we had a goverenment shutdown?

    Who is crazy now?

    November 15, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Let me Get This Straight

    So first Obama lied for 4 years to the entire American population and then claimed he would "fix" it but he refuses to sign it into law? So he lied to us yet again. How much of this lying BS are we goin gto talk people?!

    November 15, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    After reading some of these posts from right wing no nothings, I have to agree with H.L. Mencken...

    "No one in this world, so far as I know-and I have searched the record for years, and employed agents to help me-has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people."

    November 15, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. Robin Jones

    This bill will go into Harry Reid's graveyard along with all the other legislation he has unilaterally declared "dead on arrival". No discussion. No debate. No thoughtful consideration. Just "dead on arrival".

    November 15, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. T

    Some democrats have no back bones. Take stand and stay united for once

    November 15, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Dave Hawkins

    well now we know who wants to be re-elected, the damn is cracking, the flood begins.

    November 15, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. sreve

    The rollout has been a disaster. Agreed.
    Stop attacking Obama. Fix the website!

    November 15, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. Frank

    Yeah. And Obama has already said he will veto it... His way or the highway baby! Who cares what Americans want!

    Right Obama!?

    November 15, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Anand

    Hopefully, this will be the end of socialism in America!

    November 15, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Rob

    "saying the Republican plan would undermine the integrity of the law" Since when is Obama concerned about integrity? He has none.

    November 15, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. deek5

    I don't get it. Why in the world would the GOP bail out Obama? Let the ACA continue as is. The more people affected by it the more likely the GOP wins the senate seats they need to overturn it completely.

    November 15, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Working Class Person

    "Francine Weinbaum
    Health care should not be for profit."

    Sounds wonderful but if you remove incentive (profit) you will kill innovation in medicine and turn away people from considering careers in health care.

    You absolutely must have incentive (profit) in things that are difficult or miserable to do or nobody will do it well.

    November 15, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Jim

    Doesn't this bill just reiterate the "fix" Obama outlined yesterday in his three ring circus press conference? Guess it's ok to illegally change the law verbally during a press conference but it is outright blasphemy to change it the legal way by passing a bill through Congress? Since Obama has such unchecked power, why doesn't he have a press conference tomorrow to decree that all semi automatic weapons are hereby banned?

    November 15, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "In response to the Republicans and Democrats joining together to codify into law what Obama and the Senate Democrats have agreed is an acceptable "fix".....

    CHECKMATE."

    Except it's not what they've agreed on. This is vastly different. If you don't know what those differences are and don't understand what consequences they would have, then you're not paying attention. This is not at all the same as what Obama is doing administratively and not at all the same as what Landrieu and other blue dogs are trying to push in the Senate. There are clear and significant substantive differences. Yes, we understand, you and the rest of the GOP/Teatrolls are going to desperately try to whitewash those differences, but that makes you liars...it means that you're making misrepresentations to sell your preferred legislation...it means you're doing exactly what you're complaining about Obama having done (and what you've been doing all along in opposition to the ACA).

    November 15, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Mr Cruz was so crazy ... where is his apology ."

    He'll never give one, but about 3 months from now it will become pretty clear why he owes one.

    November 15, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Matt

    I don't see a way for Democrats to distance themselves from this disaster. Obamacare was passed on a straight party line vote. No Republicans voted to pass the law.

    There is a mountain of evidence that they were warned about these very issues WHILE the bill was being debated. ...and they arrogantly ignored those warnings.

    November 15, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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