Obama threatens veto of Upton bill
I haven’t followed the Upton Bill very carefully. It seems that it is similar to Obama’s “fix” except that it also allows insurance companies to sell non-Obamacare compliant policies, not just keep them in force (assuming that even is possible, which it probably is not).
The Upton Bill is viewed as a mortal threat by Obamacare defenders (aka Democrats), via The Hill:
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), is coming up for a vote on Friday….
Under the administrative fix, insurance companies are permitted to continue offering existing plans to current enrollees — regardless of when they signed up for coverage, or if that coverage was recently altered. But unlike the Upton bill, insurance companies can’t offer the bare-bones plans to new enrollees.
Democrats have worried that if insurers were allowed to offer the cheaper, lower-quality plans to new customers, the young, healthy individuals central to the success of the ObamaCare exchanges would choose the less expensive options, dooming the reform effort. Moreover, those individuals’ plans would lack the consumer protections central to driving down health costs under the law.
“I will not accept proposals that are just another brazen attempt to undermine or repeal the overall law and drag us back into a broken system,” Obama said Thursday.
Despite the administration’s veto threat, many Democrats could vote for the legislation, seeking political cover for the midterm elections. Democratic leaders have not yet said whether they’ll whip against the legislation.
But Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) told CNN on Thursday she was confident that Democrats would hold rank against the bill.
“Tomorrow when that legislation comes on the floor, I’m confident the Democrats are going to stand, as we have, in unity to continue to support fully implementing the Affordable Care Act,” she said.
Obama has threatened a veto of the bill:
The President just threatened to veto our bipartisan bill to allow you to #KeepYourPlan. pic.twitter.com/dXMhsTXWtn
— Eric Cantor (@EricCantor) November 15, 2013
The Upton Bill seems to violate the principle that Democrats should own Obamacare completely, and we should do nothing to save Democrats from their own folly, particularly after we were called terrorists, suicide bombers, arsonists and hostage-takers for trying to help just a month ago in the run up to the temporary, partial government scale-back.
On a purely political level, though, let Democrats go on record against it, or let Obama veto it.
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It’s worse than you think. Red State did a piece on this, and Rush talked about it on his show earlier this week, and I believe Mark Levin did, as well.
It is apparently a back-door, stealth way for RINOs to RESCUE the Democrats. Republicans are being taken, if they support the Upton bill.
Don’t have time to do the linkage right now, but there is a lot out there on this so-called “fix” – and it isn’t good.
Sounds like a typical Red State “shoot-from-hip” response.
I haven’t analyzed the Upton bill carefully, but I think Professor Jacobson’s analysis has some merit and that there are two valid arguments on this issue.
The far right argument is that Republicans should do nothing and let Obamacare implode. That makes some sense, especially from a purely political view.
The opposite argument is that lots of people are hurting as a result of Obamacare and Republicans should do what they can to ease the pain. It seems like this was part of the argument behind the efforts to defund and/or delay Obamacare. In the case of the Upton bill, there is also the possibility that the bill, in the extremely unlikely event it becomes law, would drive a stake through Obamacare’s heart. This is also a pretty strong argument.
So, with two opposing positions, both with strong logic behind them, which is better? I don’t really know at this point, but I don’t think anyone on either side should be calling those on the other side derogatory names. The far right as exemplified by Red State is particularly guilty of this. Why can’t they just stick to logic and analysis and forget the name-calling?
“Why can’t they just stick to logic and analysis and forget the name-calling?”
How about you take your own advice? You use “far-right” and “red state” (when you mean “hillbilly”) with reckless abandon, then whine about civility and logic.
Go look in a mirror.
Ah hell. I misread the thread and now have egg on my face. You were referring to Red State as a source, not using red state as a perojative or euphemism for hillbilly. My mistake and I apologize for jumping you.
Not a problem. Apology accepted.
BTW, I was born in WV.
“I will not accept proposals that are just another brazen attempt to undermine or repeal the overall law and drag us back into a broken system,”…
“At this point what difference does it make?”
Didn’t barry IGNORE the law with his ‘fix it’ edict?
Not always a huge fan of RedState but I like how realistic – cynical – Erick is about the individual pieces of legislation republicans put forth.
This is worth a read.
I think Upton has not thought through the push back the state commissioners are giving right now and Obama should struggle more with that first.
I think ibis realistic to say Obama couldn’t get healthcare.gov right with 3 years, insurers can’t turn around and change offered plans in 2 weeks. All your materials around a plan are regulated documents and need state commissioner approval.
It further highlights the gaps between President I-shall-deem-it-so and the reality that governing is hard work.
Also, if Obama goes down the path of unilaterally re-writing and changing Obamacare, it increases the chance that business decides that repeal is better than the risk of working with this admin.
I think the coalition supporting this thing needs to fracture and support full repeal.
Don’t repeal the excise tax, get med device companies onboard. Get insurers onboard.
Repeal is the only answer and fixing at the edges is a mistake.
Postpone the Upton vote as a “favor” to Obama and let it burn.
Obama is going to veto the bill anyways/Reid will not bring it the floor, because it is inherently destructive to his program. As George Will says, the Upton bill, without doing anything more destroys Obamacare more than any overt repeal.
The optics of Obama of then having to veto his own promise in legislative form is too hard to pass up. It would make, as Cruz said, Rs looks like good samartarians, trying to fix things- while Obama as obstructionist as well as a liar.
No real change in law ever will take place under any circumstance.
It has to be repealed and the democrats need to be smacked so hard that the never try to turn Americans doctor/patient relationship into one of their pay-to-play income streams ever again.
Republicans should vote “present” on any bill that attempts to “fix” O-Care, and they should continue to take the position that they only real way to fix this mess is by passing a law that repeals O-Care, in its entirety.
IF the Upton bill is assured of defeat, it makes a good piece of political chess.
The “administrative fix” is a big, fat nothingburger. It expressly states insurers “may” re-offer plans. Which generally will mean…since they sorta CAN’T re-offer plans in the real world…they won’t.
It WILL be challenged in court. It sort of invites challenges.
And, meantime, it will essentially SUSPEND sign-ups for ObamaDoggle except for the sickest and most desperate.
Rags, the bill was written in deliberately nebulous language that pretty much gave the Secretary of HHS total discretion in how it was to be implemented. There are almost no specifics in it as far as how it is to be placed into effect. It’s larded with the phrase “the secretary shall determine”. They left every door open they possibly could. I think they’ll use that to justify this attempt to turn back the clock.
You’re right, of course, that this will pretty much suspend all enrollments. For that we should be grateful.
“On a purely political level, though, let Democrats go on record against it, or let Obama veto it.”
The Upton Bill will accomplish nothing for those who already lost their policy. But it is an opportunity for Republicans to show the public the real villain of the story. Obama’s veto will effectively stage him as an obstructionist and anti-humanitarian.
Either way, Upton or no Upton, this is will cost the Dems dearly in 2014.
[…] think that William A. Jacobson pretty much sums up my attitude about the Upton […]
Why on earth would he veto it? With the stroke of an autopen he can hang the whole mess around the necks of Republicans.
Can Reps really be this stupid?
I don’t trust anything written by Upton.
There should be a dead-by date to all these “fixes” offered by the GOP. If specific targets aren’t met within 90 to 120 days, the entire fiasco gets killed, and it cannot be resurrected by Presidential fiat. And I don’t expect any improvements or targets to be met, regardless of this Administration’s creative accounting.
“Light Bulb” Upton,, the one responsible for getting rid of incandescent bulbs, proves once again he is a dim bulb.
Helping Dems? Why?
Thanks to all his constituents for continuing to re-elect him. probably aren’t much brighter, either.
The significance of the Upton version over the Landrieu version or the President’s fiat, is that it maintains a private insurance market outside of the exchanges and unaffected by the math-challenged nature of the exchanges that is causing costs to balloon.
If insurance companies are going to be convinced to keep offering private insurance outside of the exchanges, something like this is absolutely necessary; otherwise, their pool of non-exchange policies dwindles every year and becomes more subject to the vagaries of chance.
The main change that the Upton bill needs is that it cannot be limited to 2014. It needs to be permanent, or there isn’t much incentive to bring these policies back.
I agree. The Upton Plan works somewhat like a contingency plan in case ObamaCare can’t/hasn’t been repealed by 2014. While, yes, giving some cover to a few Democrats, it mostly humanizes GOPers as caring for the uninsured/tax payers as well as giving them a ‘fix’ while we all watch ObamaCare implode from it’s own weight. That was always the danger of ‘Let it Burn’. The ones who support(ed) ObamaCare aren’t the only ones being toasted in the wreckage of it’s demise. Many of them are, or will be, in the safe harbor of expanded Medicaid/Medicare protection.
Clarification: Latter ‘them’ I referenced are the ones in the Medicare expansion pool.
This blog post suggests that maybe Obama can re-open policies written BEFORE ObamaCare was passed and which have been in continuous use by the same people. Maybe.
But the law is clear on any policy written AFTER ObamaCare took effect.
“Section 1251 of the law governs grandfathered plans, and it spells out only three exceptions for purchasing plans after the law took effect. The first is for children who are on their parents’ grandfathered plan. When those children become adults, they have the option of purchasing the same plan. The second regards employer-based plans that are grandfathered. New employees can purchase those plans. And the third regards plans under collective-bargaining agreements made with multiple employers. New employees can join those as well.
Other than that, there is nothing in the law that permits people to keep their plans if they don’t meet Obamacare standards and were purchased after Obamacare became law.”
If you are an insurance CEO and you sell these illegal policies that Obama says he won’t prosecute…if you get sued by a policy-holder do you have a legal leg to stand on? And does the statute of limitations for breaking the law extend past the end of Obama’s term?
Repubs need to hammer one point, IMO:
The new ObamaCare fix means you can keep your old insurance policy. Period. Until after the 2014 election.
A bill that takes control of 1/6th of the economy and has 1000 uses of “the secretary shall determine”, is not a law, but a complete transfer of power to the executive, and is hence unconstitutional.
Roberts re-wrote the penalty as a tax, but even that power has been transferred (in practice) to the executive, to wave the tax on certain entities, and to delay for some to provide political cover past election dates. Pelosi said she preferred administrative “fixes” (changes in the law) to avoid those with “agendas”. In other words she wants to change the law, but avoid a branch of government she no longer controls. Again unconstitutional, is her preference.
From the very start the plan was to remove tens of millions from plans they liked, and to force tens of millions young and healthy into expensive plans. Since that was the clear motive, the tax should have been legislated in that format. Instead it was ALL deception and lies.
Obama’s magic fix just reveals the fraud. The insurance companies had reworked their formulas to account for their quid pro quo agreement to dump millions of the insured. They need all those people that had their rates double. We are seeing only phase one now, with the employer plans getting the ax next. Forensics will reveal a planned bait and switch fraud, a premeditated (in progress) murder of the private industry, and a large transfer of wealth to Obama cronies and constituents.
It’s a BFD to do nearly the opposite of everything promised. The scam required political hacks heading every department, bold practiced liars that would stay loyal. Some warned and were fired or retired. The true blue leftists remained, putting party first, but they are grossly incompetent at execution (I mean performing tasks, not at killing things).
As with Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS warfare against conservatives … this needs to be looked at as a prosecution against criminal acts. The whole administrations feels so free to lie to Congress. So far none are held to account. Another delay is not an answer, it just moves the
executiondestruction of our freedom further along.
I keep reading “let it burn” and I warn you all that the phrase will come back and bite you.
That is one phrase that makes the nasty charge that Republicans and TEA Partiers are “arsonists” stick. It marks you as part of the problem: do not use it.
I favor repealing Obamacare and replacing it with something sensible, like this:
I favor repealing it, not because of the one thing the Upton legislation wants to fix, but for a host of other, equally pernicious provisions that will remain unfixed by that legislation.
Why does there need to be an “alternative”?
Repeal it. Or “let it burn”.
Time To Veto Barry and his Party.
The lead editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal; supports the Upton bill because they say it will allow insurance companies to COMPETE AGAINST the OBOZO exchanges with better, cheaper policies – thus destroying the exchanges and much of the corrupt socialist extremist foundation for OBOZOCARE.