Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday applauded former President Clinton for saying that President Obama should change the healthcare law so that people can keep their existing health insurance plans.
Clearly relishing Clinton’s public comments, which put the White House further on the defensive Boehner said they reflected the “growing recognition” that Americans were misled about being able to keep their existing plans.
“President Clinton understood that governing in a divided Washington requires a focus on common ground, and I hope President Obama will follow the former president’s lead,” Boehner concluded.
Clinton’s comments on Tuesday ramped up the pressure on the White House to find a fix for the healthcare law. Nearly five million people have received notices that their plans are being canceled despite Obama’s promises they could keep them.
“I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law, that the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they’ve got,” Clinton said in an interview at OZY.com.
The White House on Tuesday said Obama agrees with Clinton, and has “tasked his team with looking at a range of options … to make sure that nobody is put in a position where there plans have been canceled and they can’t afford a better plan.”
The House is scheduled to vote Friday on a bill proposed by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) that authorizes insurance companies to keep offering plans that need to be canceled because of ObamaCare's new insurance standards.
Boehner said Democrats should join Republicans in backing that bill.
Carney on Tuesday lambasted the House bill, saying it permits insurers to continue to provide low-quality coverage to new consumers and those with existing plans. The end result, the White House argues, is that the plans that meet ObamaCare’s basic requirements would compete against those that don’t, sabotaging the administration’s reasoning behind having minimum requirements.
In the Senate, vulnerable red state Democrats have begun backing legislation proposed by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) that would require companies to continue to offer plans that were offered before the new ObamaCare rules took effect.
Millions of Americans have received cancellation notices from their insurance companies saying they couldn't keep their current plans because they don't meet the minimum requirements under the new law.
Some Democrats initially blamed the insurance companies, saying they were the ones choosing to drop the plans and that there was nothing in the law that required them to do so. The White House has also argued that those affected are only a small percentage of those seeking coverage in the individual marketplace.
This story was updated at 4:24 p.m.