Republican jobs agenda seeks to ensure that Americans can keep their healthcare plans

Cantor doesn't spell out how Republicans would ensure that consumers could keep their existing plans, but his agenda tasks the three committees of jurisdiction — Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Workforce — to put together legislation to repeal "restrictions" in the law that could make plans more expensive. The legislation is scheduled to come up in the last two months of this year under Cantor's proposal.

Last year, the administration released regulations spelling out new rules for healthcare plans — including limits on co-insurance and co-payments — that could make existing insurance plans more expensive. Healthcare plans have to meet these new rules to be exempt from certain aspects of the new law, such as having to offer benefits without cost-sharing. 

At the time, the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that:

• 40 percent to 67 percent of individual policies would lose so-called "grandfathered" status by 2011;

• 34 percent to 64 percent of large employer group plans (100 or more employees) would lose their grandfathered status by 2013; and

• 49 percent to 80 percent of small employer group plans (three to 99 employees) would lose their grandfathered status by 2013.

Business groups and some Republicans have been urging federal regulators to revisit the so-called "grandfathering" provision and make it more flexible.