Topics: Obamacare

Upton Obamacare fix is either a lifeline or a trap

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House Republicans are expected to approve the Upton bill to "fix" Obamacare's cancellation of health insurance plans bought by an estimated five million Americans.

The Upton bill — introduced by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan — allows insurance companies to continue selling policies that meet state regulations in 2013 regardless of whether or not they satisfy Obamacare requirements.

Upton's measure will pass the House with significant support from Democrats who worry that President Obama's administrative fix is nothing but a restatement of his now-discredited promise that "if you like your present coverage, you can keep it."

A trap for Republicans?

But is Upton's measure a fix or a fatal kick in the head of Republican strategy to repeal and replace Obamacare?

Redstate's Erick Erickson -- and others like Bill Miller of Americans for Limited Government -- see Upton as a trap that will only spread blame for the Obamacare cancellations to congressional Republicans.

This is because Upton doesn't require insurance companies to withdraw cancellations, it only allows them to sell similar policies at higher prices. Voters will figure out the GOP "fix" is no fix at all, just Washington business-as-usual.

No, it's a lifeline

On the other side, The Weekly Standard's James Capretta concedes Upton's weaknesses but argues that it at least provides the possibility of a workable solution.

Insurance companies will be able to sell policies for significantly lower premiums than those available under Obamacare, as well as work with state regulators to reinstate cancelled policies where possible.

Upton isn't a comprehensive fix, Capretta argues, but it is something ultimately more significant — an important step away from the mindset that Obamacare cannot be changed unless you happen to be Barack Obama.

Obama's veto threat

Obama has no doubts about what he will do with the Upton bill — he will veto it. But there will be Democrats voting for Upton today, as even House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer acknowledged late yesterday.

So regardless of the House vote on Upton and notwithstanding Obama's meaningless "fix," one thing appears certain: Washington is going through lots of sound and fury, but the cancellations will continue.

In other words, for all the Sturm und Drang, it's still business-as-usual in the nation's capital for Democrats and Republicans.

On today's Washington Examiner

Editorial: Obama tries to shift the burden to the insurance industry.

Luke Rosiak: Examiner report sparks House probe of agency's spending abuses.

Shikha Dalmia: 'Fixes' could end Obamacare as we never knew it.

Susan Ferrechio: Obamacare fix doesn't satisfy jittery Democrats.

Rebecca Berg: Despite troubles, Obama raises another $1 million for Democrats.

Joel Gehrke: Obama warns of the next big Obamacare problem.

In other news

The Washington Post: Uncertainty after Obama retreat on health plans.

The Washington Times: Obama slams lobbyists, then hires one to help Obamacare.

USA Today: China to ease one-child policy, abolish labor camps.

The New York Times: As troubles pile up, a crisis of confidence for Obama.

ABC News: Jimmy Carter's grandson dodges D.C. on the way to Georgia governor's mansion.

The Wall Street Journal: CIA's financial spying bags data on Americans.

Righty Playbook

The Weekly Standard: Obama on the ropes.

American Thinker: America after Obama.

Washington Free Beacon: Obamacare isn't Katrina, it's Iran-Contra.

Lefty Playbook

Talking Points Memo: Using Obamacare confusion to sell junk insurance.

Mother Jones: Obamacare fix doesn't put out fires on Capitol Hill.

American Prospect: The indefensible filibuster of Nina Pollard.

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