House GOP's Obamacare "Fix" Draws Nearly 40 Democrats

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 15 2013 1:51 PM

House GOP's Obamacare "Fix" Draws Nearly 40 Democrats

187865228
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) speaks to the press after a Republican conference meeting on November 13, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

As expected, House Republicans this afternoon easily passed their version of the you-can-keep-it health-care patch, a bill that would allow insurance companies to continue to sell existing plans that fall short of the new Obamacare requirements for another year.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

The big difference between the Fred Upton-authored bill and the administrative fix President Obama announced Thursday is that the president's plan would allow the companies to keep offering the plans in question only to those consumers who already had them, while the GOP bill would allow the companies to sell those plans to both existing and new customers. That distinction means the Upton bill goes beyond addressing Obama's (largely empty) promise that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" to something closer to "if you like anyone's health care plan, you can go out and buy it."

Advertisement

The proposal would gut one of Obamacare's main provisions, but is unlikely to see the light of day in the Senate. Even if it does, it faces a near-certain veto from the White House. The thing to note from this afternoon's vote was the number of Democrats who broke ranks with their party to back Upton's fix: 39 in all. [You can find the full roll call vote here.]

Democratic leaders did their best to keep the defections at a minimum, but in the end weren't able to keep more than three dozen of their colleagues—most, if not all, of whom hail from swing districts—from voting in favor of the Republican bill. That hands the GOP the always-coveted "bipartisan" talking point moving forward.

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

This post has been updated.

TODAY IN SLATE

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The Simpsons World App Is Here, and Nearly Perfect

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Politics

The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 2:05 PM Paul Farmer Says Up to Ninety Percent of Those Infected Should Survive Ebola. Is He Right?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.