November 15th, 2013
01:38 PM ET
1 year 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. MiNiMaTiC

    What is the purpose of allowing people who weren't on these plans before sign up now? Maybe I can understand if they had no health insurance, this would be a little better. All this will do is kick the can down the road; at some point the playing field must be leveled and everyone on full fledged insurance plans.

    November 15, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. Joe

    Democrats, the party of "NO!".

    November 15, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Steve

    Beside political CYA by the 40 dems that crossed over will the bill even get to the floor in the senate?
    If it does will any cross over.The fact is that this is only a bandaid.What is the plan moving forward?Do we wait until next November to change the tide?I have contacted my totally left leaning congressional members to cooperate.What else can joe layman on the street do?

    November 15, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Edward Escobar

    @ Just saying – You clearly only interpreted your dismissive, narrow view of what the Affordable Care Act is intended to do. The republican proposed plan would allow NEW customers to the market to buy the OLD plans, which need to be phased out - that would be the undermining part! Imagine if you knew a car was being discontinued because it didn't have adequate safety measures demanded by the regulating body (such as airbags or seat belts), and this bill would allow people to buy the old, inadequate plans. It's fine to let those already owning that car to keep driving it (and I would allow them to keep it for 3 years), but not for sales to continue for that car.

    November 15, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. contessa

    Sure would be nice if the House would use their time to focus on immigration reform. Boehner knows fully well this bill will never see the light of day in the Senate. We Americans are paying the salary of these politicians. Most of us didn't vote for our Representative to be an "obstructionist"! The Supreme Court has ruled on Obama Care! That is the highest court of the land. There is no turning that vote around. Therefore, we need to move on to immigration reform.

    November 15, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. CharlesL

    is this not a ONE year fix? Would this not be an ideal way to give more time to fix the Healthcare.gov database and slowly roll out the plan over the course of 2014? Could this be a chance at an unforeseen compromise that still leads to a common goal: insured voters without pre-existing conditions?

    November 15, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Boo

    Throw the whole thing out.....change it to single payer....MEDICARE FOR ALL...

    November 15, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. RTC

    Demo☭Rats ... The party of NO. And "Dear Leader" ... the great compromiser ... as long as it's others having to compromise.

    If the libs had half a brain their next step would be to draft articles of impeachment against Obama ... it's their only hope of retaining any seats in 2014 ..... but Dear Leader's ego will take them down with the ship!

    November 15, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    Okay, so "newcomers" can enroll. Then a year from now their policies get cancelled AGAIN, and they can whine and blame "Obamacare" for THEIR choices!

    November 15, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Noocrat

    "I think it would be wise of us Americans to choose someone with some experience next time we elect a president."

    Like that socialist, tax raiser, Ronald Reagan?

    November 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. penguin

    All those who's insurance was cancelled can buy other insurance even if they have a preexisting condition. Some will have to pay more and some may pay less. What's missing in all the anecdotal examples is an explanation of why those policies were canceled (with specifics, not just saying the policies were changed and don't comply with the ACA.) The trouble with journalism today is that nobody looks up facts

    November 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Skarphace

    "The bill would also allow new customers to enroll in those plans."

    Therein lies the rub. This is the part of the bill that Republicans added to make sure that the bill does not pass the Senate. If they had left this part out, then it had a chance. Why would insurers be able to sign new people up for plans that do not meet ACA minimum standards?

    This is proof, once again, that House Republicans do not want to fix the ACA, they want it either repealed or to fail and hurt Democrats. This bill is purely political.

    November 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Just Saying, Republicans are far useless, instead of Affordable Health Care there would be no CARE :)

    November 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Bill Davis

    Congressional Dems are a bunch of wusses. Vote for jobs, jobs, jobs....

    November 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Wall Wolf

    When Romney's Massachusetts healthcare law was first launched, it had a worse response than Obamacare. It took well over a year before they had a healthy number of people signed up and it’s been going gang busters ever since. At no time were there any articles in the press trying to tear Romney's healthcare plan down, and if it had, Massachusetts might now not have its very successful plan. Anything this large is going to have glitches in the beginning, but this also has the added problems of the GOP attacking every move, glitch, and hiccup it makes. Now we have the wimpy democrats caving in and making President Obama's life much more miserably than it needs to be. They need to gather some courage and stay with it, and they really should be ashamed of themselves.

    November 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. I FORGOT MY NAME

    The house is full of democratic cowards. All they care about is their own reelection.

    November 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. RTC

    Um. He has experience. How exactly does one get "experience" to be a President unless one is running for a second term?

    Typically, GOVERNORS have "executive experience" ....

    November 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. ringve

    Just sayin, you are so correct get them out Obama should resign he lied to get re-elected and at least should have delayed this law back in September when he had the chance given to him by the house

    November 15, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. John

    see the rats jumping off the sinking ship. lol

    November 15, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. QS

    While a liberal and democrat, this is the side of my party I have always loathed....their more conservative-minded nature when it comes to getting re-elected rather than doing the right thing.

    Glad Obama has promised to veto it since there may also be just enough cowardly democrats in the Senate to go along with the conservatives and send it to the President....hopefully I'm wrong and the Senate will not let it pass.

    November 15, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. jonjojr

    make a note folks these Democratic politicians are only jumping ship to save their behind in election cycles. They don't care about the American people when we screamed to the top of our lungs that Obamacare is flawed. All of these people who all of a sudden changed their votes. Reps or Dems should be booted out of congress for not listening the first time.

    November 15, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. rad666

    "undermine the integrity of the law"

    Didn't Obama do that when he issued waivers?

    November 15, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Why would people "like" and be willing to pay for the "don't get sick" insurance they have now?

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

    So how is this any different then Obama's fix? So basically Obama will veto his fix proposal because somebody else did it?

    November 15, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    Obamacare – a lawn cigar circling the bowl and going down the grunger.

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