On Friday, the House of Representatives approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) that would allow insurers to continue to offer policies on the individual market. The vote was 261-157. Thirty-nine Democrats voted for the Upton Amendment, which is an indication the Democrat united front on Obamacare is cracking.
ObamaCare largely eliminates the individual market and forces those policy holders into the health exchanges. On Thursday, Obama proposed extending the individual market for one year. The Upton bill would not only let existing policies continue, but insurers could sell individual policies to new customers. The White House has vowed to veto Upton’s bill if it reaches the President’s desk.
Since the launch of the ObamaCare website, millions of Americans have received notices that their policies were being cancelled. ObamaCare passed largely on the reassurances that “if you like your policy, you can keep it.” The policy cancellations show that claim to be false.
In reality, ObamaCare wouldn’t work if that claim were true. Because of the increase in benefits and the requirement to underwrite insurance for sick people, the exchanges need millions of relatively healthy workers to subsidize these higher costs. Forcing Americans with individual policies into the exchanges is the only way for ObamaCare to be viable.
The Upton bill now goes to the Senate. Sen. Mary Landrieu is sponsoring legislation that is similar to Rep. Upton’s, except that it would require insurance companies to continue offering the individual plans. Upton’s bill would allow them to offer the plans, but not require them to do so.