Speaking today in the James Brady briefing room, the president explained this new initiative in the wake of the failed HealthCare.gov web site and looming concerns over mandated ACA policy concerns.
Said the president, "Insurers can extend current plans that otherwise would be canceled into 2014 and Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan." Adding, "This fix won't solve every problem for every person, but it's going to help a lot of people. Doing more would require work with Congress."
Uh, oh. The 'C' word.
Working with Congress is like trying to get a six year-old to keep their shoes tied.
We know that Congress has been the bane of the Affordable Care Act from the beginning. The president's apology for the website's malfunctioning was added fodder for Republicans who weren't in favor of the ACA to begin with.
House Speaker John Boehner (who incidentally may be involved with this) says he wants the whole idea of the ACA scraped entirely.
Still the president is optimistic.
"It took a hundred years for us to even get to the point where we could start talking about and implementing a law to make sure everybody's got health insurance, and my pledge to the American people is, is that we're going to solve the problems that are there, we're going to get it right, and the Affordable Care Act is going to work for the American people."
We certainly hope that includes not being charged a fee for not wanting to sign up.
[Watch Healthcare.gov video here].
H.R. 3350 – Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013
(Rep. Upton, R-MI, and 161 cosponsors)
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.
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.