OVERNIGHT HEALTH: White House scrambles after getting jammed by Clinton

The Obama administration scrambled Tuesday to come up with a coherent plan for how to help people who have lost existing health plans under ObamaCare after former President Clinton jammed them on the issue early in the day. The White House said President Obama agreed with Clinton that people should be allowed to keep their plans, but offered no concrete ideas on how that would be feasible.
 

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Anxiety among congressional Democrats is growing, especially with the House poised to vote later this week on GOP legislation that would allow insurers to offer the old plans even if they do not meet the new ObamaCare standards. The White House opposes that bill, but has not offered an alternative. Read about what healthcare experts think about potential congressional alternatives tomorrow in The Hill.

Thanks, Bill: The White House on Tuesday said President Obama agrees with former President Clinton that people who like their insurance should be able to keep it under ObamaCare. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president has asked his team to look at options that would allow people to keep their insurance. Mario Trujillo at The Hill reports.

Windfall: 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. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

BREAKING: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is backing a bill proposed by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) aimed at allowing people to keep their existing insurance plans. The legislation requires all insurance companies to continue to offer plans offered before the new ObamaCare standards took effect.

“I have decided to cosponsor Senator Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) legislation: Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act,” Feinstein said in a statement. “This bill provides a simple fix to a complex problem. This bill will extend the grandfather date for individual insurance plans so that individuals who have insurance policies they like can keep them indefinitely, unless the individual chooses another plan or the insurer stops providing health insurance in the individual market.”

Plan B: The group charged with pitching ObamaCare to the uninsured is adjusting its playbook amid sustained problems with HealthCare.gov. Enroll America, which has close ties to the White House, is now focused on the first two weeks of December as a crucial moment for its outreach. That opportunity comes between Nov. 30, the administration's self-imposed deadline for fixing the broken site, and Dec. 15, the cutoff for plans that set in Jan. 1. The group is benefiting from strong fundraising, having seen more than $27 million in donations this year on top of $5 million from 2011 and 2012.

Enroll America President Anne Filipic said Tuesday that her team would focus on people it's already been in contact with in order to maximize their sign-ups. On a call with reporters, Filipic was frank, saying that she did not anticipate the site's problems would be so extensive. "We thought from Oct. 1 the website would be functioning well," she said. "When it wasn't, we rolled with it."

Trying again: About 275,000 people across the country will receive emails over the next week inviting them to return to HealthCare.gov and sign up for insurance, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Tuesday. Read more from Rebecca Shabad at The Hill.



State by State:

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) is urging Gov. Scott Walker to extend a BadgerCare deadline, Madison.com reports.

New York reports 50,000 healthcare enrollees, Rebecca Shabad at The Hill reports.

Most HealthSource RI enrollees are signing up for Medicaid, the Providence Journal reports.


Reading List:


The GOP’s ObamaCare strategy will implode, says Brian Beutler at Salon.

ObamaCare is creating a destructive legacy for Dems, writes Victor Davis Hanson at The National Review.


What you may have missed at HealthWatch:


Hoyer wants ObamaCare fixed sooner, not later.

House Republicans back new Constitutional challenge to ObamaCare.

White House mum on ObamaCare subpoena.


Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:





Jonathan Easley / jeasley@thehill.com / 202-407-8014 / @joneasley



Elise Viebeck/ eviebeck@thehill.com / 202-628-8523 / @eliseviebeck