Obama extends old health insurance plans for a year

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Health care plans that were canceled for not meeting the requirements of the Affordable Care Act will be renewed for one year, President Barack Obama said Nov. 14 in a White House briefing.

“I think it’s fair to say the [health care act] rollout has been rough so far,” the president said.

The announcement comes a day after top government technology officials testified in front of the House oversight committee about healthcare.gov.

About 106,000 people successfully signed up for health insurance under the law in the first month of availability, well below the administration’s expectations.

“It’s a complex process…There are all kinds of challenges. I’m sure there will be additional challenges that come up,” Obama said.

Just before the president’s announcement, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, expressed House Republicans’ support for the Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013, also known as the Upton bill.

The act says insurance providers may still sell plans that do not meet ACA requirements. It also says any policy will satisfy the individual mandate in the ACA.

“I’m highly skeptical [the Obama administration] can do this administratively,” Boehner said of fixing the ACA’s problems without legislation.

The House is expected to vote sometime this week on the Upton bill; however, it stands little chance of passing the Senate or getting the president’s signature.

Boehner reiterated the Republicans’ opposition to the ACA in his statement.

“The only way to fully protect the American people is to scrap this law once and for all,” he said.

A poll released by Gallup found 55 percent of Americans disapprove of the ACA, compared with 47 percent last month.

Healthcare.gov, the portal for Americans to sign up for insurance, has had a rocky start since its launch Oct. 1.

The Department of Health and Human Services hired Jeffery Zients Oct. 22 to help fix the website by the end of November.

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ACA, Barack Obama, Government IT News, HealthCare.gov, John Boehner, White House
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