Congressman Jeff Fortenberry says it’s not possible to reverse course on the federal health insurance law, no matter what the president says.
President Obama has announced he will give a one-year reprieve on the cancellation of health insurance policies that do not meet new regulations.
Fortenberry, a Republican, says what has been put in motion cannot be reversed.
“These plans are gone. The market doesn’t work that way,” Fortenberry tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “The huge amount of time it has taken, three years basically to start implementing the new law, to go in an afternoon and say no, no, no we go back to what was is simply not technically possible.”
Fortenberry also questions whether the president has the authority to do that.
“I think they are trying to do this through just their executive privileges, their maneuvering at the executive level, and not necessarily seeking a legislative fix which begs the further question as to how they have this authority, is that embedded in the 2,000 page bill somewhere or is it simply making it up as you go along,” Fortenberry says.
Fortenberry says it is tempting for Republicans to resist efforts to improve the federal health insurance law, pointing out Democrats approved the measure in 2010 without a single Republican vote.
Still, Fortenberry says Congress should address the concerns being raised by Americans.
“I think there’s a responsibility to governor; to do two things at once, say there’s a better way to do this, but if we can get some bi-partisan support for fixes that actually help people who are being seriously harmed right now, I would suggest that we have a legislative responsibility to do that,” according to Fortenberry.
The U.S. House has approved a measure that would permit health insurance companies to keep selling policies that don’t comply with the regulation health insurance regulations. Thirty-nine Democrats joined with majority Republicans in approving the bill and sending it to the Senate.
Federal officials say just over 106,000 Americans have registered under the new health insurance law in the first month of enrollment, far short of the half a million projected. Only 338 have signed up in Nebraska.