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U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) lead a news conference with fellow House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 4, 2013. Washington headed into the fifth day of a partial governme
House Republicans renewed the kind of parliamentary trickery they used to shut down the government last month to kill the Democrats' alternative bill to allow consumers to keep their existing health insurance plans. Republicans declared the Democrats' proposed amendment to their bill "not germane" to the underlying bill (despite the fact that they are about exactly the same thing).

Democrats objected to the ruling from the chair that their amendment wouldn't be allowed, and lost a 229-191 vote.

The Republicans's plan, as Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) called it on the floor is "The Insurance Company Bill of Rights." It allows insurance companies to sell substandard insurance plans not just to the people currently enrolled in them, but to anyone who wants one. It also allows insurance companies to cancel any policy they want to. The Democratic alternative would require insurers to offer renewal to existing customers, and to inform those customers that they could get much more robust plans on the exchanges.

The Democrats are taking a second chance to forward their bill as a motion to recommit. That vote will be held shortly, followed by the final vote on the Republican bill.

10:40 AM PT: Rep. Fred Upton's (R-MI) trojan horse "keep your plan" bill, or as Rep. Ron Andrews (D-NJ) calls it, "The Insurance Company Bill of Rights," just passed 261-157, with 39 Democrats defecting. This is basically the 47th repeal bill in the Republican House. Like all the others, it won't to come to a vote in the Senate.

That's because this bill would allow insurance companies to keep selling insurance that doesn't meet the standards of the law, doesn't provide real coverage, to new customers. Democrats pointed out, rightly, that this would make the market reforms meaningless, luring healthy people out of the state marketplaces and driving up costs for people shopping in the exchanges.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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