Funnily enough, President Obama’s practically unworkable, questionably legal, blame-shifting announcement of an “administrative fix” to allow insurers to temporarily renew cancelled plans on Thursday afternoon did nothing to quell the fears and concerns of Congressional Democrats panicking over the law’s annihilative effects already being experienced by millions of Americans. If the whole point of that exercise in executive desperation was to settle down the Democratic coalition and keep them unified, well… the Landreiu, Udall, and Upton bills are still very much on deck, via The Hill:
“I have a bill. There are other bills that have been filed. We’re going to be working across the aisle,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who faces a competitive race next year. “Anybody who wants to work with me or anybody else to fix it, I’ll be willing.”
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said he prefers Landrieu’s plan to Obama’s suggested fix.
“I’m continuing to support the Landrieu bill, which goes a little further,” he said after meeting with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough.
Merkley said Obama’s proposal “doesn’t go as far as I like.”
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), a top GOP target in 2014, called Obama’s announcement a start but said she would break with Democrats and back a Republican bill sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) that is coming up for a vote on Friday.
“I just think that we should support any reasonable solution and the Upton bill is a reasonable solution and I support it,” she told reporters.
At least four other House Democrats, Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Patrick Murphy (Fla.) and Collin Peterson (Minn.), also said they would vote for Upton’s bill. Many others said Thursday that they remain undecided.
Last night, however, the White House attempted to preempt that politically unfortunate scenario by issuing a veto threat on the Upton bill, via BuzzFeed:
“The Administration supports policies that allow people to keep the health plans that they have,” the White House said in a statement Thursday evening. “But, policies that reverse the progress made to extend quality, affordable coverage to millions of uninsured, hardworking, middle class families are not the solution.”
— Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader) November 15, 2013
I’d guess it’s going to be a very awkward day on Capitol Hill.