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December 20, 2014

House Democrats Propose ‘Landrieu-Lite’ Obamacare Fix

House Democrats are calling their fix for President Barack Obama’s unfulfilled “if you like it, you can keep it” insurance promise “Landrieu-Lite.”

The Democrats will try to replace legislation by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., in a vote on the House floor Friday afternoon with their own plan to let insurers keep offering plans for another year.

Like a bill by Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., the House Democrats’ plan would allow individuals to preserve canceled health insurance plans that do not meet the standards of the 2010 health law. Unlike her proposal, however, the House Democratic alternative would not let people keep their plans permanently.

“Therefore [it] prevents any long-term, harmful impacts on the Affordable Care Act,” according to a House Democratic leadership aide.

It also would leave it up to insurers to extend their plans, unlike the Landrieu bill, which requires them to do so.

According to the aide, the proposal would require insurers to notify customers of options and benefits available in the health insurance exchanges and consumer protections not provided under existing plans. It would also give Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and state insurance commissioners the authority to go after “bad actor” insurance companies and take corrective measures against “excessive, unjustified, unfair, and discriminatory rates.”

The plan is designed to limit defections from within the caucus by members who are facing difficult re-election bids in 2014, plus those who are simply fed up with the Obama administration’s rocky rollout of the 2010 health law. Democratic leadership argues that Upton’s bill represents just another Republican attempt to undermine Obamacare, and the White House vowed Thursday night to veto it.

  • 1775concord

    And to think…her vote, which was essential to pass Obamacare/Abysmalcare in the first place, was done with her bribe, labeled the “Louisiana Purchase.”
    Of course there is no way that insurance companies can turn on a dime and reinstitute canceled plans for millions of individuals

    • mabramso

      They could, but why would they want to, especially if the law allows them to simply dump high risk people onto the exchanges?

      • Layla

        According to one of the heads of the companies last night, according to law they have been given just 30 days to undo what has taken them 3 years to work out. It isn’t going to happen.

        • mabramso

          Well, there is nothing actually LEGAL about anything the President is currently doing with respect to backpedaling on ObamaCare. So if the administration is, in fact, giving insurance companies 30 days, that is entirely an enforcement choice (which I don’t believe they have the legal authority to do).

          You are probably right. Any insurance is based on risk, as computed by actuaries. No doubt, they still have those actuarial tables upon which the previous policies were based. However, I imagine those tables were constructed using other factors that have now been severely affected, such as the expected number of people purchasing the insurance. And of course, in some places like California, the insurance companies cannot revoke cancellations because they have pulled out of the state entirely.

          BTW, based on your responses to my comments, I suspect you may misunderstand my views. I prefer to make fairly narrow comments and use a less confrontational tone than many on blogs, and that may occasionally lead to misunderstandings. I have been vehemently against this law since it was proposed, and was sickened when it passed. Anyone with a brain, including Obama, could have predicted exactly this kind of result, and it needs to be fully repealed.

  • mabramso

    Whereas the GOP has shown that they are willing to eventually fold when they see they cannot win (e.g., fiscal cliff, government shutdown), Obama does not fold — case in point, the sequester. With that in mind, it is reasonable to assume that ANY bill that comes out of the House GOP will be vetoed by the President. Therefore, nothing will get done, and the 5 million who have received cancellation notices are simply hosed.

    • Layla

      You’re just now noticing that? The country is catching on fast and they are not happy.

      • mabramso

        How does my commenting on this today indicate that I didn’t notice until now? :-)

    • Jesse4

      Any bill that comes out of the House will be designed to sabotage the law, and that’s why it will be vetoed.

      • mabramso

        Last I checked, the best way to sabotage this law is do absolutely nothing. The GOP is throwing Obama a lifeline here, and politically, it may be the only thing that can save the 2014 elections for the Democrats. Politically, the GOP will be more than happy to see him veto what they propose. This is not a problem that is going to magically disappear when the Obama decided not to enforce the law for a year.

    • http://thelongversion.com/ TheLongVersion

      Have you not noticed something? Your Democrats are now advocating the same thing Ted Cruz and Mike Lee were trying to do just a couple of months ago. Oh they’re giving it a new name and not using the words “delay” or “defund”, but the end game is the same.

      Yet you were probably one of the people calling Cruz and Lee every vile name you could think of. They forced a government shutdown over radical Tea Party idiocy you said! And now Democrats are calling for the same thing they fought tooth and nail against, even allowing the government to shutdown rather than give in to what all can now see were solid and plausible reasons to delay this catastrophic law.

      But you’ll go along with it now because it has your Democrat scent on it, right? Now that Democrats have marked it as theirs its all good.

      This obvious 180 degree flip flop is being done to try and save 14 Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2014 and keep the house from getting any redder and you know it. The hope is voters will forget about all this if Democrats can just ease the pain long enough to get through the mid-terms.

      Where’s the shame.

  • http://thelongversion.com/ TheLongVersion

    Let’s call it what it is. The “you can keep your insurance until we can get reelected to keep our stranglehold on the Senate” bill. After that you’re screwed again.

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