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Obama Open to Changing Obamacare

President Obama is considering backing a bill by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) that would force insurers to keep offering plans that were in existence this year, even if it means reinstating ones they had cancelled to get right with Obamacare’s standards, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The legislation would be a step toward fixing Obama’s broken promise that under Obamacare, people could keep their insurance if they liked it, a vow that has turned out to be massively false.

From the Journal:

“Sen. Landrieu’s proposal shares a similar goal to what the president has asked his team to explore,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “There may be ways to help some people with cancellation notices without legislation, but we are happy to work with her and any member of Congress who has ideas on how to make the Affordable Care Act better.”

Obama’s change of position occurs as he is facing growing restiveness among Democrats, particularly those up for reelection in 2014, who are fretting over the political backlash as millions of Americans lose their current insurance.

Some House Democrats may even back a Republican bill that would allow insurers – but not require them, as Landrieu would – to offer plans that had been cancelled. The bill, proposed by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is still opposed by the White House.

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45 Responses to Obama Open to Changing Obamacare

  1. If a bill like that were to be passed, what are the chances the insurance companies would reinstall those plans? And isn’t this bill like the game “kerplunk” ? Pull on piece out and the whole thing collapses?
    I see no solution to this disaster.

    • There would be some real challenges for the insurance companies – they have priced their current plans on the basis of forced enrollment of enough healthy people to offset the expected claims of the less healthy. If individuals can keep their old plan (which typically required someone to be healthy), then the healthy people will switch leaving the companies facing a shortfall. They may request to stop selling new policies at that point – or even pull out of the market.

      The whole design (I use this word loosely) of the ACA required all of the parts to be in place as Blondie notes. These proposed bills sound good, but could create lots of problems.

      • Insurance companies will not be hurt. Tucked into the legislation or rules, can’t remember which, is reimbursement to insurers for any losses incurred during the first three years. Of course, in the end we pay both the insurance companies and the subsidies for the policy holders.

        • You are right about that – but just seeing how many companies are already pulling out of the individual market, I’m guessing they don’t see the bail out provision to be one they want to rely on.

    • Realistically speaking, this bill would REQUIRE Private companies to SELL their services to people.

      First they are forcing people to buy a product, and now they want to force someone to sell something.

  2. Top 5 suggested mathematical equations to be used to skew the ACA enrollees for next month’s report.
    1) Divide the amount that the National Debt grown since 2009 by the golf courses he’s played on.
    2) Officially designate the President’s favorite word “bunch” to mean “1 Billion”. Therefore next month ½ of a bunch will have enrolled.
    3) Multiply the times the substandard President said people can keep the insurance if they like their insurance by the number of policies cancelled.
    4) Add up the number of citizens who can name all the Kardashians but can’t name a single US Supreme Court Justice. P.S. saying, “That Black guy” or “What’s her name…the one from New York City”, doesn’t count.
    5) Hey, JUST use the number of people who have been spied on by the NSA.

    • Very well done! Gave me a good chuckle. But wait! Don’t give Obama any ideas! Question: In the mysterious lexicon that Obama uses to communicate to the world, is a “whole bunch” larger than a simple “bunch”? If we were suddenly in a crunch, could we invite a bunch to a lunch? Would we then have to sit in alphabetical order, or could we just bunch up randomly?

      • Great questions.
        Obviously, the Government are not good at numbers.

        Mr Substandard has used ‘bunch’ and ‘bunches’ synonymously. Which of course is not possible. Either we have the Brady Bunch or we have Bunches of Bradys. But Bunches are technically more than a bunch.

        Therefore a whole bunch and a simple bunch are synonymous in the eyes of the government in the same way that $17 Trillion in debt is not an issue to President Obama when $8 trillion WAS an issue to candidate Obama.

    • First off any Republican and Democrat with an ounce of brains (yes, I know its an oxymoron), must say…”This bill would be illegal, unconstituational and immoral. Congress can not force someone to sell something (service or product) to someone else. Therefore there is nothing we can do except make this ACA law null and void. Only then can we start again.”

      Let them vote on that, and let Reid not bring it up to a vote in the Senate.

      • But we could put a big tax on them if they don’t sell it – that’s the path we are headed down based on the way the Supreme Court ruled on the purchase mandate.

        • Obviously, John Roberts can rewrite the Commerce clause again.
          And there’s nothing anyone can do about it (so the republicans and democrats are wont to tell us).

  3. “There may be ways to help some people with cancellation notices without legislation…”

    That’s one hell of a caveat that makes no sense whatsoever. Just how do they propose to ‘tweak’ the law w/o legislation and we all know that they’re not going to put this to a vote in Congress. I think it’s a delay tactic. They’re throwing bandages to hemophiliacs (Dems up for reelection). After November 2014, they’ll rip the bandages off. They haven’t even begun the process of the infamous “advisory panel” which is supposed to be in place January 1st.

  4. ‘Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly’. Of course Obama is open to change – he wants to stall for time and share the blame with Republicans. Obamacare is unfixable! Period. The R’s have been handed the winning lottery ticket on a silver platter. All they have to do is say ‘NO’ to any and all ‘fixes’ and wait until the other shoe drops next year with the employer mandate. In the meantime, their battle cry should be ‘repeal, repeal, repeal.

    Interestingly, the subject of impeachment is making the rounds. Last nite on the Kelly File, former WTC Federal Prosecutor, Andy McCarthy, accused Obama of ‘serial fraud’ on many levels and said he could easily be indicted in the House, but the public lacks the will…at least for now.

  5. If the House RINOs fall for this idiotic and unconstitutional ruse they will own Obamacare. Right now the Republicans still have relatively clean hands (except for funding) with Obamacare. If they vote to do anything to save Preezy’s health insurance scam, they won’t have a leg to stand on come election time.

    I’m going to make a prediction, since the ruling class is getting to be oh so predictable. Fred Upton’s unicorn fart bill will be passed in the House with the assistance of his fellow RINOs and Democrats. It will then go to the Senate where the Crypt Keeper will strip out the unicorn farts and replace them with Landrieu’s lollipops and rainbows. It will then be passed by the Democrat majority in the Senate with the assistance of the usual RINO turncoats (McCain, Cornyn, et.al.). Then it will go back to the House where the Republican majority either passes a bill that forces a private company to offer a product that no longer exists and that the leviathan has ruled substandard, or they will own responsibility for the unaffordable health insurance scam. Either the RINOs are extremely obtuse, or they are complicit with the Democrats. It’s getting more and more evident that the Democrat and Republican “leaders” are all in this together, conspiring against the American people.

  6. Oh sure, let’s enact another law to make the existing law null and void. Then we can enact more laws to fix the other law that made things worse.
    What a mess.

  7. October 1, 2013:

    “Starting today, you and your friends and your family and your coworkers can get covered, too. Just visit healthcare.gov, and there you can compare insurance plans, side by side, the same way you’d shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon.”

    ~Barack Obama

    Updated:
    All planes have been grounded in the Amazoncare Jungle. Paddles for the Kayak are on order. Please consult your local GPS healthcare navigator for the closest shit’s creek.

    • It’s more like blow up, or pull out the bottom orange in the pyramid or the bottom block in Zenga–BOOM! If you force companies to recreate and reoffer “substandard” plans, you have pretty much thrown in the towel to coin another metaphor.

  8. “but we are happy to work with her and any member of Congress who has ideas on how to make the Affordable Care Act better.”

    You mean as long as it isn’t a Republican. When the Republicans warned of millions losing insurance they presented a bill back in 2010 to protect those that had insurance. Dems wanted nothing to do with it. Now they are scrambling and attempting to do what was proposed three years ago.

    It’s a little late to put the chick back into the egg now.

  9. Please indulge me for one more rant on this. Back when Senator Ted Cruz filibustered Obamacare for 21+ hours, the RINOs were haranguing him and Senator Mike Lee for their defund effort. They claimed it wasn’t the right tactic to use, and that it was better to let Obamacare “implode” on its own. While Ted and Mike were trying to prevent the financial upheaval they knew Obamacare would cause the American people once it went into effect on October 1, 2013, the RINOs were content to sit back and do nothing to prevent its implementation. Fast forward to today, and the RINOs appear to be just as insane as the Democrats in their attempts to save this behemoth. What happened to your implosion tactic, RINOs?

    • It is imploding, though. I know you admire Sen Cruz, but he and Lee were successfully tagged with the shutdown–and a lot of Americans thought that was pretty Mickey Mouse. Now, Republicans of all RINO-ness or no RINO-ness have a challenge–help their cancelled constituents somehow or just watch this mess slowly cascade off the cliff and along with it, cancer treatments, checkups, baby care, ongoing heart treatments, etc ad infinitum.

      • Cruz and Lee were not successfully “tagged with the shutdown”, in my opinion. But then I’m not influenced by state-run media or comedy shows that front as commie news readers either.

        • But other people are influenced by those things–and they think the Repubs shut down the govt. Since I am so entrenched with the elites, as you say, I know what people are seeing and how they are reacting to this message which is being implanted.

          • The people I know are scared to death watching the insanity going on in Washington, D.C. as these frauds demolish the finest health care system in the world and destroy this magnificent country. They aren’t deaf, dumb, and blind enough to believe the crap coming out of the ruling class elites.

      • In my opinion, the best thing the House Republicans could do for the American people is to pass the repeal of Obamacare for the 42nd time. Sadly, that is not what the RINO leadership has in mind. For some reason they want to allow this monstrosity to slowly kill off capitalism by using delay tactics that will do nothing to ease the pain this fantasy health care scam is inflicting on us.

  10. What a ploy to help Landrieu out! The only thing is her amendment would still be like Obamacare: it would force people to comply. Jerk you this way, jerk you that way. Same old totalitarian approach. Self autonomy not allowed in the Reich.

  11. Isn’t this the way of it? ACA forced insurers to drop policies that didn’t conform, and now Mary Landreau and others are acting like they need to “force” insurers to keep those policies. First, those policies are (inconveniently) no longer legal to offer. Second, that ship has sailed. Everyone has been working for three years to get new, compliant policies in place for next year, That’s happening, and NOW you want to reverse course, reinstate the cancelled policies, screw up everyone’s underwriting for the coming year, and claim you are doing something good? Please, spare me from the government doing any more “improving” of the health insurance market. We have way too many people with too much power over our lives and yet virtually no knowledge of how the world and business actually work. They keep trying to “fix” things and succeed in nothing but making it all worse.