GOP Open To Supporting Landrieu Fix
Looks like the Democrats are going to get their wish....
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said Wednesday he is open to supporting Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's proposal to allow Americans to keep their old health insurance plans under Obamacare.
Upton proposed a similar bill that is expected to clear the GOP-controlled House on Friday. He challenged the Louisiana Democrat to move her bill through a resistant Democratic Senate that has been fearful of approving changes to the Affordable Care Act that might undermine President Obama's health reforms.
Upton’s bill would allow Americans to keep their current health plans through the end of 2014. Landrieu would allow them to keep it indefinitely.
“Let’s challenge them to pass [Landrieu’s bill] in the Senate, and if so, I think that’s even a bigger and perhaps better step than what we have in the House,” Upton told the Washington Examiner. “Let’s see if she can pass that.”
Giving people whose health care plans were canceled some relief, and holding Obama to his promise, certainly seems like the correct thing to do - but what it effectively does (as Erickson correctly noted in his Red State piece), is get Republicans on the record favoring fixing ObamaCare with more mandates on insurance companies - something they should be against in principle. And I'm not at all clear on how all this is even doable because of the new ObamaCare regulatory issues.
Scott McKay at The Hayride says Republicans are "stepping on a rake", here:
The cancellations of non-compliant insurance policies thanks to Obamacare have been in the works for couple of years now. Insurance companies have spent millions and millions of dollars attempting to adjust their offerings and infrastructure toward this new reality in which single men must be covered for maternity care and single women must be covered for prostate cancer.
Insurers can’t offer new policies without all of these government-mandated bells and whistles, and they’re limited in what they can charge in premiums for the old and the sick. It’s likely no longer economic to offer those catastrophic plans the Democrat establishment has been trying to disparage since the current controversy blew up in their faces.
Which means the damage is done, and you can’t keep your plan.
This isn’t the Republicans’ fault no matter what the Chuck Schumers and Debbie Wasserman Schultzes of the world try to say. But by promising to fix the problem by passing a bill – something Democrats are continuously guilty of, and always disappoint the public – they’re stepping on a rake.
But Republicans are sitting in the catbird seat compared to panicked Democrats who are now demanding a fix from the White House, or they'll be forced to vote for the Landrieu/Upton Fix.
Via Hot Air:
“It’s ugly,” said one Democratic source in the meeting. “There’s no way Obama and Pelosi will let their legacy go down in flames. I just wouldn’t want to be from a swing district right now. Or anything that closely resembles one.”…
If they stand with the White House on Friday’s vote, they face the worst of all possible worlds: Campaign ads pointing out that they not only backed Obama’s broken promise but also opposed legislation to fix it. The White House has two days, they warned, to come up with an alternative way to ensure Americans aren’t thrown off their health plans. The president has vowed to find an administrative fix—rather than a legislative one—but that has proved difficult so far.
Allahpundit notes that Landrieu’s bill is even worse for ObamaCare than Upton’s is "because it requires insurers to bring back canceled plans rather than giving them the option and it would operate indefinitely rather than just for 2014."
It’s not as comprehensive as a bill to repeal O-Care outright would be, but it’s a step in that direction by making the new economics of health insurance unsustainable.
House Republicans are holding a conference call on their ObamaCare fix with conservative outlets, tomorrow. Maybe they'll be able to sell me on this ObamaCare Fix strategy. Maybe not...