January 10

House votes to add health care security

The Obama White House opposed the bill as an unnecessary and costly burden. It stands no chance in the Senate.

By Donna Cassata
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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President Barack Obama listens to Andres Cruz, second from left, as he has lunch with five young people at The Coupe restaurant in the Columbia Heights section of Washington on Friday. The five are spearheading creative outreach efforts to connect with and help enroll young consumers in the new health care marketplaces. Seated at the table with Obama at left is Anne Johnson.

The Associated Press

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To date, more than 2 million Americans have signed up for coverage through the federal marketplace covering 36 states and separate exchanges in 14 states. At the same time, at least 4.7 million people who buy their own insurance were told their policies would no longer be offered this year because they failed to meet the standards of the law.

Republicans who steadfastly opposed the law have seized on Obama’s proclamation – repeated by many Democrats – that if you liked your health care, you could keep it. The House voted more than 40 times last year to repeal, replace or undo parts of the law, but the Senate continues to support it.

Among the House Democrats who voted with the GOP were Senate candidates Bruce Braley of Iowa, Gary Peters of Michigan and Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii. Democrats high on the GOP’s target list such as Ron Barber and Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York and Nick Rahall of West Virginia also backed the measure.

Next up as a political test is a House bill that would require the administration to report weekly on the number of visits to the government health care website, the number of Americans who applied and the number of enrollees by ZIP code, as well as other statistics. The administration has opposed this measure, saying it has been providing information on enrollments, and the added requirements would force it to hire new staff.

The House will debate that measure next week.

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