Nightly News   |  November 15, 2013

Insurance executives meet with Obama

On Friday President Obama called insurance executives to the White House to figure out how to make his healthcare fix work. Some said the meeting was productive. But according to Oklahoma insurance commissioner John Doak, now that the health insurance rules are changing the cost and burden on insurance companies are going to be massive. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> good evening. president obama now finds himself compared to to president george w. bush as in the problems with the health care plan have become president obama 's katrina. he's now apologized twice for breaking the promise to americans that they could keep their health insurance . and tonight an increasing number of his own democrats are saying this proposed fix isn't good enough. 39 of them sided with republicans in a vote on a bill which was another attempt to kill obama care today. we begin here tonight with nbc's kelly o'donnell on capitol hill .

>> reporter: the biggest defection of the year from inside the president's own party today.

>> the bill is passed.

>> reporter: 39 democrats, nearly 20% of their caucus, joined with republicans to change the health care law to try to let millions of consumers whose health insurance has been cancelled keep their plans. west virginia democrat nick grayhall voted with republicans. how would you grade the administration's handling of the this?

>> f minus.

>> reporter: that low?

>> yes.

>> i want to welcome the executives --

>> reporter: one day after the president suggested his fix, he called insurance executives to the white house to figure out how to make it work. urging insurance companies to restore cancelled plans for one year, and waiving requirement that the plans cover more medical services.

>> what we are going to be doing is brainstorming on how to make sure everybody understands what their options are.

>> reporter: for the obama fix also requires cooperation from state insurance commissioners. many are angry about being asked to change the rules now.

>> the cost and burden on insurance companies is going to be massive. who's going to ultimately pay for these? it's consumers.

>> reporter: the house gop bill that passed today goes beyond the president's fix and would permit insurance companies to keep selling plans that don't meet new coverage requirements indefinitely. and to any customer. democrats say that would gut the benefits in the health care law . congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz says the fix will worg though the president cannot force insurance companies to go along.

>> that's why the president rolled out the policy yesterday that allows people who want to keep their plan to keep it. but we also --

>> reporter: it doesn't really allow --

>> yes, it does.

>> reporter: it's asking.

>> le it allows people that want to keep their plan, if they like it, they can.

>> reporter: some of the insurance executives called the meeting with the president productive. many house democrats told me they feared even more defections. brian?

>> kelly o'donnell after another fun day on the hill. thanks for starting us off tonight.