House Democrats jumped at the opportunity Friday to vote for a bill allowing Americans to keep their health insurance plans if they want to.
In a sign that Democrats are anxious about what the Affordable Care Act debacle could mean for their re-elections, 39 Democrats voted for Rep. Fred Upton's, R-Mich., bill that allows Americans to stay on any plan and even enroll in new ones that don't meet minimum requirements set by the Affordable Care Act.
The bill bolsters the executive order President Obama announced Thursday, which allows individuals to keep their own health care plans, but only for one additional year.
The Keep Your Health Plan Act passed 261 to 157 with Republicans quickly using the vote to attack the Obamacare rollout, which has been plagued with computer glitches and mixed messaging.
"The president broke his word, had a chance to fix the problem, and only did more damage to his credibility. Today, the House made a big, bipartisan statement about the need to make things right," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement following the vote. "The Keep Your Health Plan Act represents an important step toward providing relief to those who have lost their plans and face much higher premiums, but the real solution is to scrap the president's fundamentally-flawed health care law and focus on effective, patient-centered reforms."
The bill won a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives, but Democrats in the Senate are not expected to take it up. The White House has also offered a veto threat.
Newly-elected Democrats like Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., supported the bill. Others, who voted for Obamacare in 2010, like Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., sided with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and voted against it. Pelosi and Democratic leaders had been worried a larger group of rank-and-file members would run at the chance to support the Upton bill. Leaders spent the week quelling members' concerns.
The National Republican Congressional Committee Campaign group quickly sent out statements targeting Democrats who voted against the fix and with Pelosi.
"Ann Kirkpatrick has been a co-conspirator in President Obama's claim that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it," the NRCC statement said. "She said it – she owns it. Today, she decided to break that promise."