Senate Dems admit ObamaCare fix is needed to fulfill 'like it, keep it' promise

Two Senate Democrats introduced legislation on Monday aimed at making good on President Obama's promise that if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it.

Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) proposed the Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act. Landrieu admitted Monday that the bill is needed because millions of health plans are being canceled under ObamaCare for failing to meet the law's new standards.

ADVERTISEMENT
"We said to people that if they have insurance they like, they can keep it," Landrieu said. "We didn't say that if they have insurance they like that doesn't meet the standards or that meets the minimum standards, they can keep it.

"We said, and the president said over and over, that if people have insurance, and they like the insurance they have, they can keep it. That is my bill. That is the single focus of my bill."

The bill, S. 1642, would make changes to the grandfather clause under ObamaCare, which Landrieu said was "not written as tightly as it should have been." Under the bill, all insurance companies would have to continue to offer plans offered before the new ObamaCare standards took effect, and would also have to explain to policyholders how their current plan might fall short of those standards.

However, her bill makes clear that no one would be forced to buy plans that meet these new standards.

Landrieu said that not everyone would agree with her view of ObamaCare but said her bill is needed to help 5 million to 7 million people stay on their health plans. Landrieu said millions of people have received letters saying their health plan is being canceled under ObamaCare and said none of these letters would have been sent if the grandfather clause were more clearly written.

She also said she hopes the Senate would be able to consider it. "I look forward to bringing this before the committee for full debate and hopefully to the Senate floor in some way in the near future for debate and hopefully for passage," she said.

Last week, nine House Democrats proposed a bill that would delay individual mandate penalties until HealthCare.gov is fully functional.