House Republican Conference: Upton Plan Not A Fix, Just Buying Time And Minimizing Damage

This afternoon House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) held a conference call with the media, along with Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) to discuss HR 3350, the “Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013″ which was introduced by Rep. Fred Upton. We’ve all heard the horror stories of people losing their health insurance, and they’ve been hearing from their constituents ever since the cancellation notices started going out.

The Upton bill would give insurance companies the option of continuing to sell policies that had been outlawed by Obamacare. They stressed that they do not believe this bill will fix Obamacare, which they say cannot be fixed and must be repealed. Rep. Wenstrup, a physician and Army reservist, compared it to triage on the battlefield, saying they are just trying to reduce the casualties caused by Obamacare.

They noted that House Republicans have tried to repeal the law many, many times; they will continue to try to repeal it; and with the Upton bill they are just trying to buy time until they have the numbers to succeed.

When asked about President Obama’s administrative fix, McMorris Rodgers said that altering the law is not up to him, that any changes need to be done legislatively by Congress. She added that his announcement is a sign that “The president is feeling the pressure,” from all sides over the millions of cancelled policies. She brought up his visit to a Republican retreat a few years ago and his bizarre comparison to “stray cats and dogs,” saying “He knew for years that the provisions in the law would not allow everyone to keep their plan,” yet he “continued to repeat the promise he knew he couldn’t keep.” Rep. Collins added that Obama wants to win back the House and maintain the Democrats’ control of the Senate. “That’s his motivation,” he said.

They reiterated that Republicans are just trying to delay the law to give them more time to repeal it and minimize the damage. I asked about the difference between Upton’s bill and Senator Mary Landrieu’s (D-LA) bill and was told that her bill involves another mandate, which is just another restriction on the free market. Seriously, do the Democrats believe they can force insurance companies to sell policies that have already been found, through their law, to be illegal? They want to fix a problem created by mandates with even more mandates.

So that’s where they stand. Erick Erickson believes they’re walking into a trap, Jeffrey Anderson at NRO doesn’t think so. Neither the Landrieu plan nor the Upton plan will fix Obamacare, in fact, both will undermine the exchanges even more, denying them of the much-needed premiums from millions of healthy Americans. The Democrats set this trap for themselves when they rammed through this dreadful law.