House Democrats have increasingly threatened to support a Republican plan due for a vote Friday that would allow insurers to continue to offer plans that don’t meet new standards in the healthcare law. Democratic senators have offered their own legislation.
One day after House Democrats aired their grievances to White House staff behind closed doors, administration officials, including White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, will return to Capitol Hill to brief both House and Senate Democrats on the president’s plan.
Meanwhile, Republicans, whose earlier efforts to undercut the law failed to advance in the Senate, are again aggressively pressing the issue. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said the administration’s proposed fix won’t work. "I'm highly skeptical they can do this administratively," he said. "The only way to fully protect the American people is to scrap this plan once and for all."
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) praised the president for “coming forward with a fix.” She said the vote on Upton’s bill would be the 46th attempt by the Republican leadership “repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act and to put insurance companies back in charge of America's healthcare.”
“This Republican initiative would undermine healthcare reform laws by causing premiums in the marketplace to spike,” she said.
The president’s announcement got a cool reception from the insurance industry.“Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers,” said Karen Ignagni, head of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s Washington-based lobbying arm. “Premiums have already been set for next year based on an assumption of when consumers will be transitioning to the new marketplace .… Additional steps must be taken to stabilize the marketplace.”
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Times staff writers Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli in Washington contributed to this report.