Jennifer Wishon, and John Jessup, take you behind the headlines as they cover both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Obamacare - The Nightmare that Won't End


Headlines for the bungled health care roll out seem to get worse by the day.

Critics of the health care overhaul warned it would be bad three years ago, before Obamacare became the law of the land.

So when the official website, HeatlhCare.gov, crashed upon debut, they weren't surprised. When news reports gave real-life examples of how people's private information was at risk, they weren't at all shocked. Nor were they stunned when millions of people started complaining that they were being kicked off their health insurance policies, despite the assurance we've all heard countless times: "If you like your plan, you can keep it."

Democrats - from the president on down to rank and file lawmakers - repeated that claim before and after passing the Affordable Care Act. Now they're scrambling to come up with a quick fix, knowing their credibility and favorability are on the line.

That's why nearly 40 Democrats broke ranks and joined with Republicans to support the passage of a proposal that aims to let more Americans keep their current plans.

The "Keep Your Health Plan Act" allows health insurance providers to keep offering policies that don't meet Obamacare's new minimum standards, a legislative solution that allows those who like their plans to keep them.

But it would also deliver a crippling blow to the president's signature legislative accomplishment by permitting insurers to keep selling what opponents call sub-standard policies.

President Obama's announcement earlier in the week does not offer a full-scale guarantee that people in the individual insurance market can keep their plans. In fact, the administrative fix only allows for insurers to extend those policies through 2014. The House-passed Republican plan has no expiration date, so to speak.

Democrats in the Senate are crafting their own version of a fix. It's safe to say neither the Senate nor House plan will pass in the opposite chamber.

That means the White House's administrative fix -- which has already met resistance from some states -- may be the only workable solution for now. And, that's not saying much given the waning trust the American public have in the health care law and the chief proponent whose name its bears.

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Friday, November 15, 2013 2:36 PM



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