National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

House Passes Bill To Allow Insurers To Continue Selling Policies That Do Not Meet ACA Standards

House Passes Bill To Allow Insurers To Continue Selling Policies That Do Not Meet ACA Standards

November 18, 2013 — The House on Friday voted 261-157 to approve a bill (HR 3350) that would allow U.S. residents to keep their existing health plans, even if the plans do not meet minimum requirements under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148), Reuters reports. Rep. Frank Upton (R-Mich.) sponsored the bill (Cornwell, Reuters, 11/15). Thirty-nine Democrats voted for the bill, while four Republicans voted against it (O'Keefe/Somashekhar, Washington Post, 11/15).

Some Democrats noted that the Obama administration already has put forth a plan to allow consumers to keep their current plans for one year, making the bill inconsequential. However, other Democrats -- many whom are facing tough re-election fights -- said something must be done to remedy the plight of the thousands of U.S. residents who are losing coverage (Parker/Pear, New York Times, 11/15).

According to the Wall Street Journal, some Republicans said the bill was the first step to address what they believe are the ACA's failings. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, "Tomorrow it will be the staggering and unexpected costs. Next month it will be about losing access to their doctors -- and the list continues to grow" (Hughes/Hook, Wall Street Journal, 11/15).

Senate Will Not Vote on Bill, Aide Predicts

Meanwhile, the Senate is not expected to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote, according to a senior Democratic aide. The aide said, "There is a difference between constructive fixes designed to improve the law and bills that would gut it," adding, "The Upton bill is the latter" (Bolton, The Hill, 11/15).