The PJ Tatler

Obama Vows to Veto Bill Letting People Keep Their Health Plans

The Obama administration promised late last night to veto the bill coming up for a vote in the House today that would let people keep their insurance plans.

The Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013 comes to the floor with 164 co-sponsors, including a couple of Blue Dog Democrats. It could either gain traction with disaffected Dems in the Senate or be merged with Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) similar bill in negotiations.

The White House wants neither, convinced that everyone’s just trying to undermine their signature legislative effort.

“The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 3350 because it threatens the health care security of hard working, middle class families. The Nation is experiencing the slowest growth in health spending in the last 50 years. Since 2008, growth in private health insurance spending stayed between three and four percent – significantly lower than earlier this decade when growth reached almost 12 percent. With health care costs rising at such low rates, this bill would be a major step back,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a veto threat issued last night.

“H.R. 3350 rolls back the progress made by allowing insurers to continue to sell new plans that deploy practices such as not offering coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, charging women more than men, and continuing yearly caps on the amount of care that enrollees receive. The Administration supports policies that allow people to keep the health plans that they have. But, policies that reverse the progress made to extend quality, affordable coverage to millions of uninsured, hardworking, middle class families are not the solution. Rather than refighting old political battles to sabotage the health care law, the Congress should work with the Administration to improve the law and move forward,” the notice continued.

“If the President were presented with H.R. 3350, he would veto it.”

The Upton bill, according to the Congressional Research Service, “permits a health insurance issuer that has in effect health insurance coverage in the individual market as of January 1, 2013, to continue offering such coverage for sale during 2014 outside of a health care exchange established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Treats such coverage as a grandfathered health plan for purposes of an individual meeting the requirement to maintain minimum essential health coverage.”