House Republicans next week will pass legislation aimed at making President Barack Obama's famous promise come true: "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it."
That line from Obama was named the political lie of the year in 2013 by PolitiFact, as it quickly became clear that new insurance standards in Obamacare would force some plans to be canceled.
But in the House at least, members will have a chance to approve legislation that turns that lie into a true statement. The GOP will call up the Employee Health Care Protection Act, which would allow companies to continue offering any group market insurance plan through the end of 2018, as long as it existed before Obamacare took effect.
"The president's broken healthcare promises have left millions of Americans with cancelled plans, unaffordable costs, and lost access to trusted doctors," Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), the bill's sponsor, said Friday. "The president and Obamacare supporters first didn't read the bill, and now they continue to ignore these realities."
"This commonsense bill simply holds the president to his promise that you can keep the health plan you had and liked," he said.
[sharequote align="center"]"This commonsense bill simply holds the president to his promise..."[/sharequote]
Cassidy added that while millions of plans have already been canceled, some have warned that small businesses will start to be affected beginning in October.
Next week's debate and vote will likely be the last chance for Republicans to make their case against Obamacare in Congress before the mid-term election. The GOP has made Obamacare the poster child for government overreach as well as government incompetence in this year's election.
Democrats, on the other hand, are likely to argue that Republicans are wasting more time trying to change a law they oppose, in a way the Senate and White House don't support.
But Republicans have said Obama's unwillingness to work with Congress to deal with Obamacare's many problems is exactly why the House has to work on its own. Obama has made several tweaks to the law unilaterally, angering Republicans who want the chance to make changes through legislation.
Just before leaving for the August break, the House approved a resolution authorizing House Speaker to file a civil suit against the administration over its implementation of the law.