Republicans don't seem terribly excited
about Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's plan to allow consumers to keep their health insurance plans if they want to:
A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who supports a version of the keep-your-plan legislation from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), told The Huffington Post that he didn't believe his boss would sign on to Landrieu's alternative
Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, meanwhile, came out fully against Landrieu's bill because it could be interpreted as a mandate that insurance companies keep offering certain plans indefinitely.
would guarantee people can continue their health insurance plan for as long as their health insurance company offers coverage in their market by requiring insurers to continue offering the plan.
Unlike Landrieu's bill, the House GOP plan would let insurers cancel plans, accept new customers without meeting the minimum standards for coverage under Obamacare, and keep customers in the dark about new options available in health insurance exchanges. In other words, their plan is the "Defending Your Insurance Company's Right to Cancel Your Health Plan and Keep you in the Dark About Better Options Act of 2013."
When you compare the two different approaches to dealing with the cancellation issue, it's pretty easy to see that Landrieu has the political upper hand, a fact that probably explains why House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, the author of the GOP plan, tried to sound open to it:
“Let’s challenge them to pass [Landrieu’s bill] in the Senate, and if so, I think that’s even a bigger and perhaps better step than what we have in the House,” Upton told the Washington Examiner. “Let’s see if she can pass that.”
Unlike McConnell and Norquist, Upton isn't dismissing Landrieu's plan, but that doesn't mean he's actually interested in embracing it. Sure, he says that Landrieu's plan might be "bigger" and "better" than his, but if he really believed that, wouldn't he be swapping out his plan in favor of Landrieu's? Instead, he's taking a wait and see approach, undoubtedly rooting for his pal Mitch to filibuster Landrieu's bill, because for Republicans, this isn't about improving Obamacare—it's about trying to break it.