By Dave Andrusko
It’s not exactly a secret that the Obama administration is trying to minimize the damage to the not-so-cheery prospects of Democrats running for re-election this fall by continuing to tinker (or much more) with the most unpopular components of the unpopular ObamaCare.
So it came as absolutely no surprise that the Hill newspaper reported today that once again insurance companies will be allowed to continuing offering what Obama has denounced as “cut-rate plans” offered by “bad-apple insurers.
Here are the beginning paragraphs from Elise Viebeck’s story:
“The Obama administration is set to announce another major delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act, easing election pressure on Democrats.
“As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements.
“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.’”
But, wait. Didn’t Obama already “fix” the political problem? Remember when HealthCare.gov almost collapsed of its own incompetence and health plans were canceled in the individual markets?
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Obama “called on states and the insurance industry to allow people to keep their existing plans for an additional year,” Viebeck explained. HHS pushed the deadline back to January 1, 2015. All’s taken care of, right?
“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.”
But it’s not the least bit surprising that Obama would try to offer protection to vulnerable Democrats. What is new (at least to me) in the story was
“It is unclear how long the extension will be, though one source believed it could last to the end of Obama’s second term, and perhaps beyond.”
Viebeck states the obvious: this indefinite stalling for time undercuts one very important justification for ObamaCare. Which is out with all those “cut-rate plans” and in with plans that must meet the standards established by the Obama administration.
Now “non-compliant” plans (according to the story) might be acceptable for at least three years.
Another day, another cynical, backroom political calculation by the most “transparent” administration ever.