Liberal Dem: Obama undermined law

President Obama undermined his healthcare law with his proposal Thursday to allow insurance companies to offer canceled plans for an additional year, according to a liberal House Democrat.

“Honestly, I think [the announced change] undermines the program,” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) told The Hill.

{mosads}Ellison is the co-chairman of the House Progressive Caucus.

Ellison said Obama should have “just put his body and soul” into fixing the bungled ObamaCare website rather than changing rules covering insurance companies in the law.

“I think [Obama] should do everything humanly imaginable to get [the website] fixed as fast as possible and press on,” he said.

Obama on Thursday announced insurance companies could offer old health plans that did not meet the new standards under ObamaCare for an additional year.

The proposal came in response to the political storm created by the nearly 5 million people who have seen their policies canceled — despite Obama’s promise that they would be able to keep their plans under ObamaCare.

It’s unclear whether insurance companies would actually offer the old plans, though the administrative action by Obama would allow them to do it.

Ellison backed a single-payer system for healthcare when the law was considered by Congress.

But he said there would have been problems in implementing that kind of healthcare system as well.

“I believe that whenever you are trying to make big change there are bumps; there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

In a less political world, both parties would be “working on fixing the problems, coming up with some rational solutions,” he said, but that hasn’t been possible because “these problems are happening within an extremely polarized political environment.”

Ellison also argued Obama wouldn’t help himself politically with his plan, since it would not mollify his critics.

“I’ve been asking myself, does he believe this is going to appease his detractors because they are not criticizing him because of the plan’s problems. They are criticizing him because he’s him, and that is not going to change.”

Tags Affordable Care Act Barack Obama Keith Ellison
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