Once upon a time, Obamacare was “settled” law that was “here to stay.” Or so President Obama said—before Obamacare failed to survive contact with reality.
The reality is that the Administration is delaying the impact of major parts of the law, including the employer mandate and now the benefit mandates for health plans.
There’s a slight problem: As the President so readily reminded us, Obamacare is still the law of the land. Without undoing the law, everything that has people up in arms—the higher costs, mandates, plan cancellations—will still happen.
And this latest one-year “fix” isn’t a given. As Heritage’s Chris Jacobs put it: “The President’s promise that his new ‘plan’ can allow people to keep their plans is just as flawed and false as his original ‘like your plan/keep it’ pledge.”
The “fix” is another Obama attempt to go outside the law and around Congress. But even the President can’t just un-cancel people’s insurance plans.
Insurance commissioners in several states have already said no, we can’t change the rules again and allow companies to un-cancel plans in our states. Two warnings from insurance officials:
Disrupting the market even further. “I have serious concerns about how President Obama’s proposal would be implemented and more significantly, its potential impact on the overall stability of our health insurance market,” said Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. He announced that “We will not be allowing insurance companies to extend their policies.”
Hurting consumers. “Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of [Obamacare] could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers,” said Karen Ignagni, CEO of insurance trade association America’s Health Insurance Plans.
Heritage’s Jacobs points out that President Obama’s extra-legal “fix” could even result in the Administration offering insurers a bailout if they bring back canceled plans. It’s just one debacle after another.
People don’t trust President Obama on this anymore. And they shouldn’t. Because Obamacare is doing exactly what it was intended to do—and no amount of delays can change that.
That’s why we need a different direction for health reform that people can trust.
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