Rep. Fred Upton's bill allowing Americans to keep the healthcare coverage they had before Obamacare is a "trap," says RedState Editor Erick Erickson
Upton, the Michigan Republican who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced a bill last month that would allow people with individual insurance plans that were in effect as of Jan. 1 this year to keep those plans for another year. His bill could reach the house floor as soon as Friday.
Upton's "legislative" solution to the Obamacare cancellation mess was introduced long before President Obama on Thursday introduced his "administrative" solution, allowing insurers to extend canceled policies for one year.
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Despite the president's proposal, Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate say congressional action still will be required to solve the Obamacare cancellation nightmare.
Upton says he has around 150 co-sponsors and believes he will get more than enough votes to pass it, which in turn will put pressure on the Senate to approve a bipartisan bill forcing President Obama to live up to his pledge that "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan."
But Erickson offers this warning: "Folks, it is a trap."
"You may not think it is a trap, but the Democrats are going to use it to turn the tables on the GOP. Certainly Upton and House Republican leaders do not think it is a trap, but it is one the Democrats have flipped skillfully on the GOP," he says.
Erickson says Upton's bill is "a paper tiger," with no teeth to enforce its mandate.
"It allows everyone in Congress to say they support people being able to keep their healthcare plans, but it lacks measures to force insurance companies to let people keep their plans," he says.
Erickson says the House is likely to pass the bill and send it to the Senate, where it will be voted down in favor of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's bill to tweak Obamacare, which Erickson says is a stronger bill.
Landrieu, who is up for re-election in Louisiana next year, on Thursday said President Obama's one-year delay for part of his healthcare reforms was a "good step forward" but legislation was probably still needed.
"We'll probably need legislation to make it stick," she said.
Landrieu has a bill that would be more open-ended, allowing insurers to keep offering the old plans so long as they explain to consumers the difference between the old plans and benefits now available under Obamacare.
Erickson explains that after the Senate replaces Upton's bill with Landrieu's measure, Republicans will be left to explain how they're supposed to want people to keep their health insurance plans they had before the Affordable Care Act, but "won't actually force insurance companies to let people keep those plans."
"Yet again, the GOP will be cast as the tool of insurance companies and Landrieu as the savior of plans people already have," says Erickson. "Republicans will cave. They’ll console themselves thinking Landrieu's bill will undermine Obamacare and cause it to collapse."
"The Democrats are baiting a trap of the Republicans' own design," Erickson said. "The GOP is getting too clever by half. "They need to just demand full repeal of Obamacare — not let Democrats like Landrieu save themselves while claiming to fix the unfixable. Obamacare is not fixable. If anything, Landrieu shows just how unfixable it is."
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