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3 Minnesota Dems. vote for GOP bill that lets consumers keep health plans

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Three Minnesota Democrats joined a majority in the U.S. House on Friday in voting to approve a plan to allow health insurance companies to continue selling policies that do not comply with the nation's new health care law.

Reps. Rick Nolan, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz were among 39 Democrats who voted in favor of the measure, approved by the House 261 to 157.

The plan, backed a day earlier by an embattled President Barack Obama, would allow more consumers to keep their insurance plans. Many insurers nationwide had begun notifying consumers that the companies could no longer offer them plans, or that rates would be increased, under the new health care law.

Obama threw his support behind the measure after criticism mounted that he had previously vowed Americans could keep their plans if they liked them.

The proposal significantly weakens his signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act, the Washington Post notes.

“Honestly, I think [the bill] undermines the program,” Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., told the congressional newspaper The Hill.

Ellison, D-Minn., who represents a more liberal Minneapolis district, was critical of Obama for giving ground to Republicans on Obamacare. He joined Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., in voting against the bill.

All three Republicans in the House delegation Michelle Bachman, John Kline and Erik Paulsen voted for the bill.

The Obama administration has tried to soothe growing anxiety among Democrats in Congress about what Obama called the "fumbled" rollout of the health reform law that so many of them risked their careers to pass, NBC News reported.

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