In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Moderate Senate Democrats Propose Nine Obamacare Fixes

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AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

The proposal echoes one from Landrieu and others last fall that would have allowed people to keep their non-compliant health plans, introduced amid the uproar over canceled policies. The bill hasn't moved in the Senate, and the White House administered a fix independently, but Landrieu has continued to tout the the bill and pushed the administration to make that fix permanent.

It's still not clear whether the package of bills will actually receive a vote on the floor. "We're working on leadership and the White House," a Senate Democratic aide told TPM.

Democrats have positioned themselves to run on a platform of "keep, but fix" Obamacare in the fall midterms and Thursday's bill package is the legislative manifestation of that strategy. Recent polling has also found that a majority of Americans support keeping the law in place, while making small changes.

Nine bills make up the "fix" package. Some of the highlights include:

  • Introducing a lower-cost health insurance plan, called a "copper" plan, which would cover 50 percent of medical costs. The cheapest plan currently available through Obamacare, called the "bronze" plan, covers 60 percent of costs.
  • Expanding the availability of small-business tax credits under the law to companies with fewer than 50 employees, rather than 25 employees.
  • Increasing the threshold for the employer mandate, requiring that only companies with 100 or more employees provide health coverage. The current threshold is more than 50.
  • Making permanent the option for people to enroll in Obamacare coverage directly through insurers and independent websites, in addition to the federal website HealthCare.gov.
The senators touted the various groups -- the National Retail Foundation, America's Health Insurance Plans, etc. -- that support the proposals. Industry insiders previously told TPM that the "copper" plan bill would likely be introduced if Republicans took control of the Senate next year.