House to vote on "Keep Your Health Plan Act"

As the administration scrambles to fix the Obamacare website, calls are growing from both Democrats and Republicans to push back the March 31, 2014, enrollment deadline. Jeff Pegues reports.

Amid controversy over whether the Affordable Care Act lives up to President Obama's promise to let people keep the health insurance they have, the Republican-led House next week plans to vote on a bill that would aim to resolve the issue.

The bill, called the "Keep Your Health Plan Act," was introduced by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and has 88 co-sponsors in the House. It would allow plans that existed on the individual market as of Jan. 1, 2013 to stay in effect through 2014.

In a USA Today op-ed, Upton called the bill "a simple, sensible solution that would allow health plans being offered today to continue into next year."

The Affordable Care Act "grandfathered in" plans that existed before the law was passed in 2010, but millions of Americans are now being dropped from those plans because they were changed after the law passed. As Mr. Obama has explained, once an insurer decided to change a plan in question, the insurer had to replace it "with quality, comprehensive coverage."

Those who are dropped from their old plans can either get new plan from their insurer or shop for one on the new, online Obamacare marketplace. Most Americans are required under the Affordable Care Act to have some type of health coverage by 2014. They have until the end of March to sign up before they would be hit with a fine by the IRS.

There's some concern that people who are being dropped from their plans now won't have time to sign up for a new one before 2014, particularly since the Obamacare website HealthCare.gov has been glitchy. Upton's bill, even though it would only extend existing plans for another year, would at least gives those individuals more time to check out the new marketplace.

The Obama administration has suggested the legislation isn't needed since the open enrollment period lasts through March.

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