House Republicans fumble Obamacare politics, give ‘keep your health plan’ issue to Mary Landrieu

Nov. 13, 2013, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging the House to scrap its plans to vote Friday on legislation dealing with keeping existing, opting instead for legislation that would suspend the health care law in full:

“House Republicans are letting vulnerable Democrats off the hook on the issue of millions of Americans losing their health plans, by offering legislation that merely shifts blame from those who supported Obamacare to insurers that are merely trying to follow the law.

“Senate Democrats led by Mary Landrieu, seeing an opportunity to save their electoral chances in 2014, are upping the ante by offering a bill that will force insurers to reinstate coverage that they had originally legislated out of existence. This will be a political winner for Democrats, because the House bill has no such requirement on insurers.

“Not accepting the Senate bill would leave Republicans in the unenviable position of defending health insurance cancellations on the grounds that businesses cannot be compelled to offer a product that may be no longer financially viable. And so, Fred Upton who authored the Republican plan has already come out to praise the Senate Democrat approach.

“But the reason these plans are being cancelled is because of new, burdensome requirements under the law. The solution is to eliminate those new requirements. Forcing insurers to provide plans that are no longer viable without eliminating the new costs being imposed on them is suicidal. Next thing you know, House Republicans will be supporting increasing insurer subsidies to offset the cost.

“Americans for Limited Government strongly urges House Republicans to cease and desist from pursuing the Upton bill, allowing the Senate to act first, and then responding with either a full-year delay or an indefinite suspension of the entire law. This is the perfect opportunity to make the case for stopping implementation of the law itself before it does any more damage to the America’s health care system.”

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