Policy

Club for Growth and Heritage Action Back Upton Obamacare Bill

Upton is sponsoring a bill aimed at letting people keep insurance plans that don't conform to the Obamacare law. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America have been sticklers for purity when it comes to Obamacare. Republican lawmakers, the conservative advocacy groups argue, should focus on repealing the entire 2010 health care law, not dismantling bits and pieces or making changes that inadvertently make the law better.

But both groups are fans of legislation that will come before the House this Friday that is intended to let Americans keep their existing health insurance plans, rather than have insurance companies cancel them if they don't comport with the new standards of the health care law.

"We support the bill," Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller said in an email to CQ Roll Call late last week.

"Generally, we appreciate efforts to focus much-deserved attention on Obamacare, which is increasing premiums, reducing work hours and causing folks to lose their insurance," Dan Holler, communications director for Heritage Action, added in a separate email. "Heritage Action's focus will continue to be on stopping the implementation of this unworkable, unaffordable, unfair law."

Their seals of approval should help provide a smooth course to passage for the bill, sponsored by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich. Upton introduced the measure as a response to the numerous insurance coverage cancellation notices that have been mailed out to individuals around the country. Republicans say President Barack Obama lied when, in the lead-up to the health care law's passage, he said that nobody would have to give up insurance plans they liked.

While House Republicans are expected to support the legislation overwhelmingly, some moderate Democrats in vulnerable districts could vote "yes," too. Senior Democratic aides who fear that Democratic defections could send the wrong message about party unity say that they wouldn't be surprised if the Upton bill is amended to become more conservative, a move that would actually prompt Democrats to walk back support.

There doesn't seem to be a mutiny within the GOP ranks quite yet for more stringent language, however.