Sen. Landrieu vows to move forward despite Obama pledge

Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuA decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ MORE (D-La.) vowed Thursday to move forward with a bill to help people keep their existing health plans.

Landrieu said she thought her bill was necessary despite President Obama’s announcement Thursday that he would use executive powers to allow insurance companies to offer canceled plans for another year.


“A promise should be kept,” Landrieu said on "The Laura Ingraham Show." “I’m going to do everything I can to pass a law in addition to his [President Obama’s] executive order.”

Nearly five million people have seen their policies canceled, according to a report in Forbes. The cancellations occurred because the old plans didn’t meet the minimum requirements for insurance plans under the new law.

Obama’s proposal has drawn mixed reactions from supporters of the Affordable Care Act.

While some red state Democrats facing reelection in 2014 questioned whether the president’s move goes far enough, others worried that it would undermine the law.

Earlier in the day, Landrieu applauded the president’s action.

“I’m encouraged that the president took action to stop the cancelation of insurance policies that people were promised they could retain,” she said in a statement.

Landrieu’s bill goes further than the president by requiring insurance companies to continue offering plans, even if they don’t meet the minimum standards for ObamaCare, for as long as the consumer keeps paying the premium.

Critics of Landrieu’s bill say it would create an administrative nightmare. They also argue it would undermine the law by forcing the beefier, more expensive federal exchange policies to compete for young and healthy consumers that could be tempted to keep a cheaper plan that doesn’t meet ObamaCare’s minimum requirements.

Obama seemed to be seeking to pacify Landrieu in his Thursday proposal by including a primary component of her bill in his proposal.

Like Landrieu’s legislation, Obama’s order requires insurers to send cancellation notices to explain why the policy doesn’t meet minimum requirements, and also steers them to a comparable plan at HealthCare.Gov.

“I was particularly happy to see the notification provision included, which is an important part of my bill,” Landrieu said.

Landrieu is a top target for Republicans in 2014, and one of several Democrats facing reelection in red states who voted in favor of the healthcare law in 2010.