Can the White House Short-Circuit the “Keep Your Plan” Campaign?

Buried at the end of Emma Dumain’s report on “the Upton bill”—the shorthand for a bill to grandfather back in the individual health plans being canceled now to comport with regulations—is the White House’s way out. Democrats are somewhat fearful of their conservative counterparts in the Senate signing on to such a bill, but they expect either Republicans to screw things up, or the White House to make up a new rule.

The current legislative text could fall prey to conservative amendments, vaporizing Democratic support. The White House, which is exploring an “administrative fix” to address the dilemma, could unveil a plan that satisfies Democrats and, in their estimation, renders Upton’s bill irrelevant.

It’s happened before. A similarly shaped escape hatch got the administration out of the contraception mandate fix (though it didn’t stave off lawsuits). But what the White House would need to write, here, probably would have to leave in the grave all the plans it’s criticized (the super-cheap plans that are useless in a catastrophe) and protect some of the comprehensive plans that got swept up.