Thomas Roberts   |  November 11, 2013

Big week on deck for the ACA

It’s a big week ahead for the Affordable Care Act, beginning with the release of October enrollment numbers, and ending with a vote on a House bill that would allow Americans to keep their existing health plans. Rep. Raul Grijalva discusses.

Share This:

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

>>> so it's a really big week ahead for the affordable care act . the white house will release the long awaited october enrollment numbers for obama care. on wednesday another house hearing on the flawed rollout of healthcare.gov and friday the house votes on fred upton 's bill that would allow americans to keep their existing health care plans. on the "today" show, sarah palin joined the chorus of republicans to criticize the president.

>> it's not 5%, it's most americans will not be able to keep the health care policy and programs that they had desired. and the new programs that are being forced down our throat are unaffordable. people who are being told today if you -- and some of them are still being told, well, if you like that insurance policy and that coverage, you still will be able to keep it, it's just going to cost you a little bit more. that's the point. if it's going to cost you more, then it's not the same policy.

>> arizona congressman and democrat raul joins me now. we have this article that points out the shift. weeks ago many republicans said obama care was too broken to fix but now the gop is drafting legislation that aims to do just that. so is this "keep your health plan " act a tacit admission by the gop that the law is here to stay? if so, do you think they have the conservative votes to pass it?

>> yeah, it's a concession that the health care law and the reform is here to stay. i think it's an effort to continue to undermine it by chipping away at the mandate of the law. and do they have the votes in the house? probably. but, you know, the point remains that i find the criticism of we want to keep our own plan that also, you know, you have to echo that those are the plans with uncontrolled premiums, those are the plans that did not cover pre-existing conditions, that did not provide preventive care . and in some cases charge -- many cases charged women more than men for their health coverage. that's the plan that palin and others, that's the idea palin and others continue to promote that we need to keep those kinds of insurance policies and i think it's a mistake.

>> we have the dnc chair, debbie wasserman schultz quoted in politico that we're not going to let new plans be sold like the upton bill would do to allow insurance companies to drop them. if that az signal that democrats are willing to make some negotiations?

>> it's a signal that willing to make some pragmatic negotiations, but the fact remains that there's seven million people that will automatically have health care with the subsidies and the support. of the 12 million people that have their own coverage, 4 million are the ones that will see rises in their premiums. 8 million will either stay the same or have a subsidy. and overall of those 12 million, a lot better health coverage and more expansive.

>> it certainly sets the standard for care and making sure that people are taken care of so they don't have to find out when they go to cash in on an insurance policy that certain things aren't covered. again, it's a standard foundation. but we have this new information, a new poll showing a majority disapproving of the way the president is doing his job. just 41% view the president right now favorably. that's down 14 points from last december. republicans say that this is the direct impact of the aca. sir, what kind of response have you seen or what are you hearing from constituents in your district about the availability of health care ?

>> well, in the district i represent, unfortunately one of the highest uninsured districts in the country, and the response has been favorable. the troubled start did not help the momentum for the health plan , but now that we seem to be gaining that momentum, i think time is actually on the side of the health care plan and the reform because people are going to begin to feel tangible benefits. uninsured people will be on the rolls that have coverage for the first time. young people , which is a preponderance of people that will qualify, are now also going to be part of that. i think you see a different momentum. as the middle class realizes that private insurance companies have had the chokehold on health care in this country as a profit-making machine, now all of a sudden there's some equality, some equity in the discussion, and this is why you see the reaction of the private insurance companies in terms of those 12 million private carriers, people that have private insurance that have chosen that route and why the scare tactics and the fact -- and the fact that this is now political fodder. but i think time is on the side of health care reform . i'm very optimistic, as is shown in my district, that people are going to embrace the idea that it is better for all america for the economy that more people are covered.

>> congressman, thanks so much. i