House passes Keep Your Health Plan Act, Obama threatens veto

Keep Your Health Plan Act

In a 261-257 vote, the House of Representatives passed the Keep Your Health Plan Act, which would allow insurers to extend the policies that had been canceled because they didn’t comply with the mandates and provisions of Obamacare.

The Keep Your Health Plan Act, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), would permit insurers to let consumers keep health plans in effect before January 1, 2013 through 2014. It wouldn’t force insurers to offer the plans, but it would give these plans “grandfathered status,” meaning that they wouldn’t have to compliant with Obamacare’s minimum mandates.

“The president broke his word, had a chance to fix the problem, and only did more damage to his credibility,” said Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) after the passage of the measure. “Today, the House made a big, bipartisan statement about the need to make things right.”

“The Keep Your Health Plan Act represents an important step toward providing relief to those who have lost their plans and face much higher premiums, but the real solution is to scrap the president’s fundamentally-flawed health care law and focus on effective, patient-centered reforms that will protect all Americans from this train wreck,” he added.

The measure would also allow insurers to extend coverage under these plans to new customers, which Democrats complained would undercut the Obamacare.

Thirty-nine House Democrats broke with President Obama and party leaders and supported the measure. Four Republicans voted against it, one of whom was Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), who explained his vote on his Facebook page.

“I voted against H.R. 3350, Keep Your Health Plan Act based on the fact that it does nothing to address the long-term dangers of Obamacare,” wrote Broun. “A lasting solution to Obamacare requires full repeal, not just a short term repair.”

The White House has issued a veto threat against the Keep Your Health Plan Act. The Senate is not expected to take up the measure, though, increase pressure from vulnerable Democrats could force the Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the White House to accept a vote on Sen. Mary Landrieu’s proposal to require insurers to continue to offer the plans.

Landrieu and other vulnerable Senate Democrats voted for the “grandfathered plan” regulations that have led to some 5 million insurance plan cancellations.

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