Their new idea? Bill Cassidy of Louisiana (the same Bill Cassidy who said yesterday that Harry Reid runs the Senate like a "Plantation") wants to allow the Health Insurance Lobby to keep selling cheap, non-Obamacare compliant "junk" Health Insurance Plans, instead of plans that...you know...have things that'll actually keep you healthy.
House Republicans have yet another plan to undermine Obamacare, though it's not getting all that much attention mere weeks before the midterm elections.
Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who is also running for Senate against Mary Landrieu (D-LA), introduced the latest ploy. It was cleared by the House Rules Committee on Tuesday and now heads to the House floor, where it is scheduled for a vote this week.
If the bill passes, Senate Democrats won't take it up. But it's a reminder that, while the Republican dream of repeal might be dying, they haven't totally given up symbolic gestures to undercut the law.
Cassidy's bill would allow insurers to keep selling non-Obamacare-compliant plans to employers through 2019, which would largely affect small employers with 50 or fewer employees. The Obama administration has already given the same option to those in the individual market through 2016, after the outcry over the "keep your health plan" controversy last fall.
But the House GOP's latest bill would significantly broaden that so-called "fix" and extend it through the end of the decade. The small-business market that would be affected accounts for at a minimum 17 percent of the covered workers in the United States, or roughly 26 million people. That market is a major focus of Obamacare, remade under its insurance reforms and targeted by the insurance exchanges that opened last year.
Larry Levitt, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told TPM that the Cassidy bill -- if it hypothetically became law -- would be "quite disruptive" to the small-business market. The Congressional Budget Office had previously estimated that those enrolling in non-compliant plans in the individual market would be negligible in 2016 after the Obama administration announced its "fix." But in evaluating Cassidy's bill, CBO estimated that now 2 million people would be enrolled in non-compliant plans in the small-employer market in 2016 -- with that number set to increase in the following years.
Story is courtesy of Talking Points Memo.