Obama to announce fix on canceled plans

President Obama on Thursday will offer a proposal for people who have lost their health insurance plans because of ObamaCare, according to House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPatagonia says to shut stores for a few hours during Global Climate Strike Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Progressives push for changes to Pelosi drug pricing plan MORE (D-Calif.).

The White House said Obama will make a statement on the Affordable Care Act at 11:35 a.m.


Neither the White House or Pelosi offered any details on what the president will say. But CNN reported that those who had their plans canceled would be allowed to renew them for an additional year, while insurance companies would be required to inform those receiving the notices of other options and benefits available on the ObamaCare exchanges.

Millions of people have received notices that their plans have been canceled under ObamaCare, which places certain minimum requirements that insurance plans must offer their customers. A report in Forbes said 4.8 million people have received cancelations.

Obama repeatedly said that people would be able to keep their existing plans under ObamaCare. His promises have turned the canceled plans into a serious political problem for his party, and one on which Republicans are seeking to capitalize.

Democrats will also offer a legislative alternative for their members to a Republican bill set to receive a House vote on Friday. The GOP bill, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), would give insurance companies the option of offering the old plans.

Pelosi said the proposal Obama will offer will be an administrative fix to the problem, which she said was preferable to legislation.

"It could be done much more quickly without any accompanying agendas," she said.

"I think it can be done administratively," she said. "The president will offer a proposal today, is my understanding, and we have our own proposal which we think is really good."

Democrats have been pressing the White House to come up with some alternative to Upton’s bill. 

Pressure on the president to announce a fix only increased when former President Clinton said Tuesday he believed the administration should "honor" its commitment to individuals to keep their health insurance.

Democrats expressed exasperation with administration officials at a closed-door meeting on Wednesday over the rollout of the healthcare exchanges and the problem of the canceled plans, and urged officials to come out with another option quickly.

The White House and congressional Democrats argue Upton’s bill would undermine healthcare reform because the younger, healthier consumers who are needed to keep premiums down would opt for cheaper plans rather than the fuller coverage offered on the ObamaCare exchanges. In turn, premiums would shoot up for sicker and older enrollees.

While Democratic leaders have circled the wagons in staunch opposition to the Upton bill, a handful of rank-and-file members — including Blue Dog Reps. John Barrow (D-Ga.) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) — have bucked their leadership to endorse the bill.

Pelosi on Thursday noted that both Barrow and McIntyre opposed ObamaCare from the start, "so it’s consistent for them to vote to eliminate it."

—This story was updated at 10:47 a.m.