It is widely acknowledged that Congressman Upton’s legislation is more messaging than substance. His legislation does not have anything in it that can force insurance companies, in the topsy-turvy world of Obamacare, to keep insurance plans going.
But there is a plan than does. Senator Mary Landrieu has written legislation in the United States Senate that the Democrats love. It mandates insurance companies have to keep people on their present insurance. The GOP is supposedly against mandates and against government forcing private businesses and individuals into contracts they don’t want.
Here’s what is going to happen.
The House, with the help of a good number of Democrats, will pass the Upton plan and send it to the Senate. Harry Reid will substitute the Landrieu plan and send it back to the House. The House will be forced to either vote for the Landrieu plan or be characterized as siding with insurance companies against people.
In one fell swoop, the Democrats will have the GOP on record saving Mary Landrieu’s re-election in Louisiana by casting her as the one who saved Americans’ health care plans, and also getting on record as really being in favor of fixing Obamacare with the use of mandates.
It’s not a done deal that any legislation forcing insurers to reinstate plans that no longer make money could pass in the House. The guess here is that it wouldn’t.
But there is some damage in rejecting Landrieu’s bill. The House GOP will be painted as unserious, and the Democrats will – and this is mind-blowing, but watch it happen – accuse them of not caring about the poor people who have lost their insurance! Because there was a bill that would force insurers to cover them, you see, and the Republicans rejected it.
When you’re dealing with pathological liars who will say anything and everything to (1) escape blame for their own incompetence and misdeeds, and (2) destroy their political opponents by any means necessary, that’s what you’re going to get.
Erickson is correct that “Keep Your Plan” might be a trap. It might be a good idea anyway, but John Boehner and his gang had better be aware of all the angles.