Clyburn: 39 Dems approved Upton bill for 'soundbites'

House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn says the 39 Democrats who voted for Rep. Fred Upton’s (R-Mich.) “Keep Your Plan” bill did so for “sound bites.”

“What I said was several of them, that I spoke with, were in fact insulating themselves from sound bites,” Clyburn said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday. 

“I think we all know that up here one of the real dangers lies in the fact that people are really afraid of these little poison pills that get stuck in various bills.” 

Clyburn seemed to be referring to the potential Democrats who voted against the Upton bill would face attack ads during their reelection campaigns. 

Last Friday, 39 Democrats defected from their caucus and voted for the Upton bill, which the House approved 261-157.

Although the bill would allow people to keep their health insurance under ObamaCare, Clyburn said it also would permit insurance companies to continue selling substandard policies. “Now every Democrat I know is against that,” he added. But the first part, he said, would wind up in soundbites.

Most of the 39 Democrats are considered vulnerable in their 2014 reelection bids.

President Obama proposed his own “fix” to the healthcare law a day prior to the Upton bill vote, which would allow people to keep their old insurance policies for one additional year.

Clyburn acknowledged ObamaCare has had a rollout problem, but says it will be fixed. He suggests insurance companies help execute the enrollment process.

“We need to push this out into the insurance companies," he said. "If we're going to be in bed with them, let's bring them into this process, because a lot of these insurance companies could be signing people up, they could be informing their policy holders.”