U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, a Democrat from Lumberton, joined 38 other Democrats today voting in favor of a Republican-sponsored bill in the House of Representatives that would allow people to keep their 2013 health plans for another year.
The vote was the latest sign that congressional Democrats are taking heat for all the negatives surrounding the start of the enrollment period for individual insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, Renee Schoof reports.
President Barack Obama tried to take some of the pressure off them on Thursday when he announced that he’d allow insurance companies to extend existing policies for a year. But he said they’d have to notify customers that their plans wouldn’t have coverage that would be available if they met the Affordable Care Act’s standards.
Today the House voted 261-157 for Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton’s version of the keep-your-insurance theme. It would allow people who currently aren’t insured to buy policies that don’t meet the minimum coverage in the law. The president’s offer on Thursday didn’t extend to new policies.
The House vote could be simply symbolic. There’s no sign it will get any attention in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats are in the majority.
North Carolina’s three other Democratic congressmen (Reps. David Price, G.K. Butterfield and Mel Watt) voted against Upton’s bill today. All of the state’s Republican members of the U.S. House, including Reps. Renee Ellmers of Dunn and George Holding of Raleigh, voted for it.