The Obama administration is said to be preparing to announce yet another delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act.
According to two sources, the administration plans to allow insurance companies to continue selling plans that would otherwise be banned under the law – plans that do not meet Obamacare’s minimum coverage requirements.
How long the extension will last is not yet known, but some are predicting it could last through the end of Obama’s second term, and perhaps beyond.
The Hill first reported the news, and they say the delay may be politically motivated:
Prolonging the “keep your plan” fix will avoid another wave of health policy cancellations otherwise expected this fall.
The cancellations would have created a firestorm for Democratic candidates in the last, crucial weeks before Election Day.
The White House is intent on protecting its allies in the Senate, where Democrats face a battle to keep control of the chamber.
“I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” one consultant in the health insurance industry said. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.”
In late 2013, uproar over Obama’s “If you like your plan, you can keep it” lie (one that he repeated at least 29 times) led to the administration’s decision to ask states and the insurance industry to allow people to keep their existing plans for an additional year. But, as The Hill reports, this presents yet another obstacle for Democrats:
A one-year moratorium pushed the deadline beyond the midterm election, but insurers must send out cancellation notices 90 days in advance. That would mean notices in the mail by Oct. 1, five weeks before voters go to the polls.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who faces a tough re-election fight in Louisiana this year, has introduced a bill that would force insurance companies to reinstate canceled policies that Obama promised Americans would be able to keep:
“When we passed the Affordable Care Act, we did so with the intention that if you liked your health plan, you could keep it,” Landrieu said in November. “A promise was made, and this legislation will ensure that this promise is kept.”
American consumers aren’t the only ones struggling to keep up with all the changes – they are creating havoc for insurers as well. One insurance company executive told The Hill that the ever-changing deadlines make pricing difficult:
“These continual delays, these stops and starts, make it very difficult because we set rates based on predictive modeling.
“When you change the rules, it has a detrimental impact on your ability to calculate your risk pool and your prices.”
Here, Ellison Barber of The Washington Free Beacon explains the political motivation for the delay:
Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.
Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”