White House Defends Obama’s Executive Authority to Act on Health Insurance Without Congress

Photo Credit: AP/ Evan VucciWhite House press secretary Jay Carney defended President Barack Obama’s authority to take unilateral action on health insurance plans – even comparing it to the administration’s action last year not to prosecute certain illegal immigrants.

Carney also reiterated the pledge to veto House bill to allow people to keep their insurance plans cancelled as a result of Obamacare, even after 39 Democrats joined the House Republican majority to support the bill.

The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) would allow anyone who had a health insurance policy cancellation, or would get a cancellation, to keep their plan, thus keeping Obama’s broken promise that if you like your health care, you can keep it. The administration objects because it would allow new policies that do not comply with Obamacare to still be sold.

Thus Obama unveiled his own plan on Thursday, to preempt the House vote, that would administratively waive insurance companies from having to comply with Obamacare standards for one year, but also require those insurance companies inform consumers that tax credits and other benefits of the Affordable Care Act plans.

But some have questioned Obama’s ability to take such an action without Congressional authorization. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney took a question about the president’s authority, and said that the health care law defers certain discretion to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

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