GOP ‘Keep Your Plan’ Bill Draws Dozens of Democrats

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13: Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) (R) and House Republican leaders (L-R) Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) speak to the press after a conference meeting on November 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Republican leadership criticized the president's insistence that current health care plans could be kept, citing letters received by their constituents warning about an upcoming plan cancellation.
National Journal
Billy House
Nov. 15, 2013, 8:37 a.m.

In a vote where Demo­crat­ic lead­ers scrambled to min­im­ize party de­fec­tions, the House on Fri­day ap­proved a Re­pub­lic­an bill that would block the can­cel­la­tion of in­sur­ance plans that don’t meet the Obama­care stand­ards.

The Keep Your Health Plan bill passed 261 to 157, with 39 Demo­crats end­ing up join­ing most Re­pub­lic­ans in ap­prov­ing the meas­ure.

Seni­or House Demo­crat­ic aides already con­ceded that dozens of Demo­crats would side with Re­pub­lic­ans in fa­vor of the meas­ure. Many rank-and-file law­makers have been feel­ing in­tense pres­sure to dis­play some re­sponse to the troubled roll-out of the Af­ford­able Care Act.

But even as they con­ced­ing some de­fec­tions, one seni­or Demo­crat­ic aide told Na­tion­al Journ­al be­fore the vote that “more than 50 would be a night­mare” in terms of the polit­ic­al op­tics of hav­ing so many Demo­crats split from Pres­id­ent Obama.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion on Thursday had even is­sued a veto threat against the bill.

To help give some of those Demo­crats an­oth­er vote they could point to, Demo­crats tried but were de­feated in a pro­ced­ur­al move to of­fer a bill with ele­ments of le­gis­la­tion sponsored in the Sen­ate by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., which would also ad­dress ex­ist­ing plans. Rep. Rob An­drews, D-N.J., de­scribed the Demo­crat­ic al­tern­at­ive as “not a step to un­ravel” the Af­ford­able Care Act, “but a step to im­prove it.”

On Thursday, Obama an­nounced that he would al­low in­surers to con­tin­ue of­fer­ing in­di­vidu­al plans for an­oth­er year, even if they do not meet the min­im­um re­quire­ments un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act.

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