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Despite veto threat, GOP-run House OKs bill allowing coverage short of 'Obamacare' standards

Friday - 11/15/2013, 10:00pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats who voted against a House bill weakening a core component of the new health care law say the Republican-backed measure is just another in a long line of attacks against the law.

But 39 Democrats broke ranks today and supported the legislation. The final vote was 261-157.

Neither the new policy President Barack Obama announced yesterday nor the bill passed in the House on Friday would ensure that anyone whose individual policy is canceled will be able to keep it. Instead, both would permit insurance companies to sell coverage renewals if they wish -- subject to approval by state insurance commissioners. Both allow insurance companies to sell health coverage that falls short of new federal standards. But the House measure goes one step further, giving insurance firms the ability to sell individual plans to new as well as existing customers.

The vote came shortly before President Barack Obama welcomed insurance company CEOs to a White House meeting to discuss the law and its changes.

The House measure faces an uncertain fate in the Senate, where Democrats seeking re-election in 2014 are leading a move for generally similar legislation. The White House has threatened a veto.

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212-w-35-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with Jay Carney, White House press secretary)--While the House has now passed a Republican bill to roll back health insurance cancellation notices, President Obama is threatening to veto it. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (15 Nov 2013)

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220-a-06-(Representative Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., announcing the vote)-"bill is passed"-Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder announces the House has passed a bill letting insurance companies continue selling individual health care coverage that doesn't comply with the president's health care law. (15 Nov 2013)

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214-a-15-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"the long run"-White House press secretary Jay Carney calls the House measure a huge step backward. (15 Nov 2013)

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213-c-19-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"being hit with"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports the House GOP plan passed with sizeable Democratic support. (15 Nov 2013)

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215-a-13-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"child has asthma"-White House press secretary Jay Carney says the GOP just wants to go back to letting insurance companies sell lousy policies. (15 Nov 2013)

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