November 15th, 2013
01:38 PM ET
10 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. Sniffit

    "if this very same bill were to have been generated by the Democrats, he couldn't sign it into law fast enough."

    Wrong. Upton's bill is very clearly designed to undermine the ACA's cost controls by permitting insurers to continue not only providing bunk insurance policies to those that already have one, but to expand the customer base for those non-insurance products. Obama wouldn't sign that. Ever. And you're never going to have enough votes to override a veto if it even makes it that far.

    Three months from now, when the website has been fixed for a while and the misinformation that the MSM is helping the GOP/Teatrolls broadcast about this issue has been proven wrong, and people are finding out that their insurer duped them into not going to the exchange and accepting a more expensive plan, rather than enrolling in a less expensive plan and paying less out of pocket with a subsidy...when that happens, sh-t's going to hit the fan about the deceptive practices that the insurers are engaged in right now, taking advantage of the exchange website's problems and the absence of the information it would be providing to disprove this nonsense. When that happens, those of you trying to have your laugh now won't be laughing at all.

    November 15, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Dan

    39 dems, how about this Obama ?

    November 15, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Philip in Elverta

    Okay, everyone keeps blaming the "shutdown" for causing $26B lost to the economy, but no one talks about the $85B per month of QE. It's like ordering a drink and expecting alcohol in it, but only getting watered down cheap booze. The AHA? We will see - there is too much hype on both sides. There are unintended consequences we will not realize until 3-5 years out - one of them being non-compliance and high premiums. The trick is to find the balance to get there, but both sides seem to be tone deaf. Quit the posturing - calling people "rascists", "haters", "criminals" - stop it already. Communicate!

    November 15, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. cajr

    the support for the aca is seriously taking a hit now. the president and the senate need to work with republicans to work this out so ALL people benefit from it. this is not going to work as it is written.

    November 15, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Steve- Illinois

    Does Obamacare have any "integrity" left?
    This is a bi-partisan bill, better think long and hard about it before dismissing it, Senators.

    November 15, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. srcactus

    America was against the ACA bill from day one and the Democratically controlled government still passed it in defiance of the people. That reason alone should be reason to reject this partisan arrogance and the supporters of this undesirable rubbish.
    Fire a Democrat – Restore freedom to America.

    November 15, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Dennis Costabile

    I am so diisappointed at your effort to seem to report both sides of the healthcare debate. A few weeks ago you were attacking Republicans, this week you are attacking the President. You are losing the journalistic edge, and making your way to tabloidism.

    November 15, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. hz

    just impeach that liar before things get even worse.

    November 15, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "The younger generation is more libertarian or independent after being burned by the president and his hope/change lie from 2008 campaign. "

    Yeah, and election results in 2012 totally showed that. Yawn. You guys will tell yourselves anything to help yourselves sleep at night, eh? President Romney, who won in a giant landslide, is soooo proud of you.

    November 15, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  10. Dezire

    Would it hurt the Democrats to be just a bit flexible and work with the Republicans?
    You might actually get something done.

    November 15, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. Francine Weinbaum

    Health care should not be for profit.

    November 15, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. Bob Smith

    "The bill would also allow new customers to enroll in those plans." – WHY!? So we can do this all again next year? Extend existing plans, but let new buyers buy ACA compliant plans. There, fixed.

    November 15, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Tim

    Uptons plan passes the House with bipartisan agreement. If and when the president vetos the plan he will be sending a clear message that his Obama Care plan is more important then the people he is there to represent. He then needs to be Impeached and removed from office.

    November 15, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. ex-newpatient

    To MNClownFactory,
    What is the problem with Americans having health care?
    The Coch brothers are against it and the phony insurance companies will not be able to milk millions of Americans into bankruptcy.

    November 15, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. Yakobi

    "It has little chance of clearing the Democratic-controlled Senate"
    Of course, because this whole fiasco is Harry Reid's fault! He's the one who wouldn't allow proposed republican fixes to the medical device tax or delaying implementation. Now he won't even allow proposed fixes FROM HIS OWN PARTY to come to the Senate floor. And like Pelosi, he didn't even read the legislation before he voted for it!

    November 15, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Ahhh Sheit Midrauers

    Most of the plans were canceled because they were crap plans. They are a waste of money anyway. They didn't cover real stuff anyway. The insurance companies are raising premiums and other deductibles to other plans because they are jerks. The influx of new customers would bring them a lot of money anyway, but they have had these greedy practices for years. Unfortunately, the GOP and conservatives are lucky that Americans are stupid, easy to scare, and have short term memories. Otherwise, we would have had Medicare for all, hospital costs would be controlled (not only because everybody would be covered, but because the Government would not let the so called non-profit hospitals charge ridiculous prices like a $40 bandaid), and the for profit insurance motive will be taken out of the picture. Wake up people, healthcare had already been bankrupting us before. The majority of bankruptcies filed were because of medical bills. ACA had addressed some issues, but still leaves the insurance companies and non-profit hospitals (btw, these hospitals make more profit than most Fortune 500 companies) with too much power.

    November 15, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Cruz Control

    The bill is not to allow people with garbage plans to keep them for another year, it is to do that but also to allow people with pre-existing conditions to be dropped or refused coverage, to make it so you can't stay on your parents' policy until you're 26, and allow insurance companies to spend more than 20% of their revenue on administration and profit, rather than the current law (the Affordable Care Act) which makes them spend 80% on actual health procedures and doctor visits.

    AKA to repeal the terrifying Obamacare, which the tea party hates so much they'll shut down the government (probably twice).

    But this is an internet comment section so it's like shouting into a well. People will continue to believe what they want to believe and a few years from now everybody will have access to affordable health insurance and improved access to care.

    November 15, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. semper fi

    ...that they are now voting to do what the GOP shut down the Government did for this very reason.

    November 15, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. OCCUPY WALLSTREET FOREVER

    LOL, those plans are the ones with all sorts of limits that make them nearly worthless should you get cancer or some other debilitating disease that costs the insurance company a lot of money.

    I'm all for letting current people keep those junky plans, but DO NOT allow them to be sold to new customers.

    It's nothing more than another giveaway to the insurance industry.

    Do not fall for it.

    November 15, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Ernie Boomer

    Obama the clown, is the biggest joke ever, he is even making Bush look good, wait until the bottom falls out of the market again next fall then maybe people will quit blaming all of his problems on Bush

    November 15, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Pollster

    Another blow for Obama will come this weekend from his boyfriend Reggie

    November 15, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. Beans

    You're gonna get my garbage healthcare, whether you like it or not......

    What a pos

    November 15, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. mary

    Rats jumping ship.. Because of elections coming up…
    The point is, this is taking awhile to implement and its not going smooth..Mostly because insurance companies want to continue to sell junk policies. The ones where they continue to make "profit" over actually providing health care.
    We have so many dishonorable and dirty politicians ..
    We also have dishonorable and dirty news people..
    Where are the people who are being saved by the ACA?? Why do we only hear of those that are finding their healthcare premium has gone up? where is the truth? where is the health insurance expert who would sit on national tv and go over these junk polices and expose them AS the junk they are?
    We have too man dishonorable people who are for one reason or another looking out ONLY for their careers.. And to do that , it means appeasing the guys with the $$$$.
    WE are a morally bankrupt society..
    Unless health care can fix hard cold hearts.I guess you might say the ACA might actually do no good..
    How do you fix selfishness , greed and the need for popularity?? :(

    November 15, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Janet

    IDon't forget about other things today, such as this headline: "Obama’s desire for nuclear deal with Iran sparks worry at home and abroad." This should worry you.
    .
    Just his usual diversion from other problems "shuffle". He needs to be relieved of his office.

    November 15, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. Really?

    Tea Party was right about Obamacare and they were demonized for it.
    Ted Cruz was right about Obamacare and he was demonized for it.
    Republicans were right about Obamacare all along and were demonized for it.
    Remember all the name callings the Dems and the liberal media said about repbulicans fighing to stop Obamacare b/c it would hurt people? "Extreme, Party of No, Obstructionists. Republicans want u to get sick and die" etc.

    America you voted for the Dems, u voted for Obama. U allowed a bias media to play u for a fool. America the writing was on the wall when u voted for a guy that never ran anything, had zero experience about the how the economy works or business. All u had to do was research it. But no u got snookered by Obama, Dems and media and u followed along like sheep.
    Now Suck it up and deal. Or as Obama says "eat your peas".

    November 15, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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