Week ahead: Dems grapple with ObamaCare fallout

ObamaCare will remain at the top of the agenda this week as Washington grapples with President Obama's attempt to quell the criticism over canceled health plans.

The focus has shifted to Congress and the states, where anxious Democrats and on-the-spot insurance commissioners are deciding how to handle Thursday's surprise move from the White House.

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Under Obama's plan, insurance companies can continue to offer canceled health policies to people who previously held them for one year.
 
In the states, insurance commissioners are deciding whether to comply with the White House directive. At least three said they would not allow late renewals as of Friday afternoon, while four said they would. These decisions will help direct insurance companies about how to proceed.

On Capitol Hill, support is growing for Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-La.) bill to require insurers to offer canceled plans as long as consumers continue to pay their premiums. Six additional Democrats had signed on to the measure as of Friday afternoon.

Senate leaders have given no indication that they will hold a vote on the Landrieu measure or a similar bill from Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that would require insurers to offer cancelled plans for two years.
 
But support for those measures is a bellwether for Democratic concern about the political fallout from Obama's "keep your plan" promise.

Both chambers will hold a range of healthcare hearings this week.

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Health is looking at the federal regulation of mobile medical apps on Tuesday, while the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee is looking at the security of HealthCare.gov.

On Wednesday, the Energy and Commerce health subpanel will meet again to look at public health bills aimed at treating traumatic brain injury, encouraging newborn health screenings and avoiding tick-borne illness. Funding for Poison Control Centers and avoiding sudden infant death syndrome will also be on the agenda.

In the Senate Wednesday, the Primary Health subcommittee of Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will hold a hearing on health as it relates to social and economic status, and the Small Business Committee will examine ObamaCare's small business exchanges.