President Barack Obama gave in to mounting political pressure Thursday, announcing new rules that will let insurance companies keep people on health care plans the Affordable Care Act would not have allowed. The new rule offers a one year extension.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, spoke on the U.S. Senate floor Thursday about the harm he says the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has done nationally. He said Obama’s claim that Obamacare will make health insurance more affordable for Americans isn’t accurate.
“Day after day we see cost going up for hard-working families all across our country. Not merely the rich families, not just the one percent, but middle-class Americans,” Scott said a few hours before President Obama made his announcement.
Scott ended his speech by saying, “Obamacare and Healthcare.gov are words we now know as synonymous with failure.”
The president’s new rule comes after a large number of congressional Democrats expressed frustration with the botched rollout of the health care law, including a poorly functioning website.
But South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn said the delay would cause some Americans to keep cheap “junk” policies, which he worried would cause their medical bills to skyrocket should they become sick.
On Friday, the Republican-controlled House will vote on a bill that would allow Americans to keep their existing health coverage through 2014 without penalties. Clyburn said he would oppose an effort by House Republicans that would allow insurance companies to continue selling the policies, not just renew them for customers who already have the plans.
“I don’t believe insurance companies ought to be given the opportunity to do that when people’s expectations may be different,” Clyburn told MSNBC on Thursday.