In what is becoming an epic embarrassment, the WSJ reports that the Obama administration announced today that consumers can keep insurance plans that don't comply with the federal health law for another two years, pushing a potential firestorm over cancellations and broken promises that "you can keep your health plan". As The Hill adds, the unprecedented move will protect vulnerable Democrats in the midterm elections by staving off a wave of cancellation notices and for some consumers, rather stunningly, Obamacare will not be in place for all Americans when President Obama leaves office. Sickeningly, the administration explicitly gave cover to 13 vulnerable Democratic lawmakers by saying the extension was developed in “close consultation” with those members.
The Obama administration announced Wednesday that consumers can keep insurance plans that don't comply with the federal health law for another two years, pushing a potential firestorm over cancellations until after midterm elections.
Previously, some consumers could keep insurance plans that didn't comply with the 2010 Affordable Care Act until roughly the end of this year, as long as their state regulators and insurance company allowed it. Now, consumers will have up to an additional two years to do so, putting their plans in place until roughly 2016.
The policy also means that one of the key features of the Affordable Care Act — minimum healthcare benefit requirements — will not be in place for all Americans when President Obama leaves office.
The administration's spin...
Senior administration officials insisted that the change will not substantially alter the Affordable Care Act and emphasized that their focus was on flexibility for individuals.
But the reality is politics as usual...
President Obama and many Democratic lawmakers made promises that consumers could keep their current coverage under the healthcare law, and Republicans were eager to use those statements as leverage in their effort to retake the Senate.
The administration explicitly gave cover to 13 vulnerable Democratic lawmakers such as Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) by saying the extension was developed in “close consultation” with those members.
Meaning that you can keep your health plan (well beyond the Tea Party's original demands that were so rancorously disavowed last year by the Democrats)...
The policy prolongs the administration's “keep your plan” fix from last fall and applies to the individual and small-group insurance markets, potentially affecting 12.5 million people, officials said.
The timetable will allow consumers to renew old health plans for the last time on Oct. 1, 2016, meaning some plans will continue into 2017 under the next president.
Administration officials denied that the 2016 campaign season will see its own wave of cancellation notices, predicting that most people will have migrated into the new marketplaces by then.
Welcome to HillaryCare...