Fourteen months after Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., offered an amendment making good on President Barack Obama's assurance that "if you like your policy, you can keep it," and it sailed through the House, the House Energy Committee chairman is not certain he will re-introduce the measure.
"I have to wait and see where our discussion on this goes," Upton told Newsmax Wednesday as he arrived at the retreat for House and Senate Republicans in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Upton pointed out that a lot has changed since November, 2013, when his amendment was approved by the House by a vote of 261 to 157. The Upton Amendment, which would have permitted insurance companies to offer individual plans on the market instead of forcing policyholders into health exchanges, was support by every Republican House Member and 39 Democrats.
Like many of the pieces of legislation passed by the House, the Upton Amendment was subsequently denied a vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate by then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
However, the measure was championed last year by many Republican House and Senate candidates, who told voters they wanted the opportunity to vote for a bill that would have put into law the president’s repeated assurance that "if you like your policy, you can keep it, period."
Upton told us in Hershey that "a lot has changed since then" and "so many of the policies people had were canceled and the plans became nonexistent under Obamacare. In Michigan alone, 125,000 people had their health insurance canceled."
He did point out that there was a possibility that those plans could come back if Obamacare was struck down by the Supreme Court in the upcoming King v. Burwell case.
"That’s what we’ll be talking about," Upton said, noting that Republicans would have a discussion at their retreat on what policies to pursue in the event the King v. Burwell decision goes against the Obama administration. Sources told Newsmax that much of the discussion centered on Republicans having a plan of their own for healthcare in the event the country's highest court gives a thumbs-down to Obamacare this summer.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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