House defeats bipartisan fix to 'Obamacare'

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 9, 2014 at 5:34 pm •  Published: April 9, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Wednesday rejected a bipartisan fix to the Affordable Care Act that would exempt U.S. health plans sold to expatriate workers from having to comply with the law's mandates.

The legislation was aimed at helping U.S. insurance companies like Cigna and Metlife that are now at a competitive disadvantage with overseas firms that do not have to comply with mandates such as the so-called Cadillac tax on high-end plans, patient protections and a host of reporting requirements.

The measure garnered a 257-159 majority but failed to win the two-thirds required to pass under expedited procedures.

Top Democrats say the measure contains loopholes that would allow insurance companies to sell inferior policies to American and foreign workers and their families in the United States. They said efforts to craft a more narrowly tailored fix had failed.

The GOP-controlled House has voted more than 50 times to repeal or weaken the health care law.

But Wednesday's vote was the second time in two weeks that the House has voted on fixes to flaws in the law. It voted late last month to ease a requirement that limited the types of plans small businesses could offer.