The White House issued a formal veto threat Friday to a bill passed by the House today. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), is another attempt to dismantle the ACA and President Barack Obama says if it reaches his desk he will veto it.
In a statement from the Office of Management and Budget, the administration argues the law is intended to “sabotage” ObamaCare.
“[The bill] rolls back the progress made by allowing insurers to continue to sell new plans that deploy practices such as not offering coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, charging women more than men, and continuing yearly caps on the amount of care that enrollees receive,” the statement said.
Millions of Americans have received cancellation notices from insurance companies saying that their current plan will no longer be available under ObamaCare. Originally, the law did not permit grandfathering of plans that had been purchased or substantially altered since the health bill was passed three years ago. Some insurance companies also opted to stop offering plans that did not satisfy the minimum coverage requirements mandated for new enrollees under the Affordable Care Act.
That led to a firestorm of criticism for the Obama administration, and an announcement from the president Thursday afternoon of a new administrative regulation intended to address the issue.
Under the administrative fix, insurance companies are permitted to continue offering existing plans to current enrollees, regardless of when they signed up for coverage or if that coverage was recently altered. But unlike the Upton bill, insurance companies can’t offer the bare-bones plans to new enrollees.
Democrats have worried that if insurers were allowed to offer the cheaper, lower-quality plans to new customers, the young, healthy individuals central to the success of the ObamaCare exchanges would choose the less expensive options, dooming the reform effort. Moreover, those individuals’ plans would lack the consumer protections central to driving down health costs under the law.