Fight to keep canceled health plans continues in Virginia

The fight over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — or ObamaCare for short — never seems to end.

Virginia’s Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment has introduced two separate bills with the same goal — making sure heath insurance companies can continue health insurance plans otherwise discontinued by President Obama’s signature health care law.

SB 5013 and SB 5014 would put legislative weight to Obama administration rules that extend health insurance carriers’ ability to offer otherwise canceled plans, as long as state leaders allow it, through 2016 — a presidential election year. Originally, the offer was only extended through October, right before the midterm elections.

It isn’t the first push from state-level Republicans to curb the effects of some of the more unsavory parts of the law on Virginians. Still, news earlier this fall that a quarter of a million Virginia policy holders — more than a quarter of a million Virginians — would get cancelation notices by the end of the year has renewed their efforts.

“Of course, people were promised if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan,” state Sen. Dick Black, R-Leesbur, who signed on as one of a handful of co-patrons to one of Norment’s bills, told “That was actually a bold-faced lie. There never was any truth to it. But because of the pressures, the act has been enormously unpopular with the public. I’m not sure if there’s any precedent for a major piece of legislation being unpopular with the public.”

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