In another attempt to extinguish a smoldering fire burning the Administration, the President went on the defensive again by issuing a one year extension of existing insurance plans to those losing coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That is if the state insurance commissioners and health insurance companies want to dust off old policies that they have scrapped for the new healthcare reform law.
Is This A Joke?
The main point of the delay is in response to the famous “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” line that is rapidly making its way to the George H.W. Bush “read my lips, no new taxes” gaffe. The reaction amongst the insurance industry was less than favorable for the President who in addition to the failed website roll-out is in damage control within his own political party who are facing re-election challenges. CNBC reported that insurance executives are calling this delay a “joke.” 1/3 of our healthcare costs go to administration and this adds to that. It is becoming more clear that the real joke is leadership in Washington. Read the transcript here.
What Does This Mean
The delay is fairly simple, but like everything else with this law it is going to create more confusion and chaos for consumers. For more, check out this segment on the Tom Becka show talking about the delay and explaining it to his listeners. His show is the top rated news talk radio show in Omaha, NE.
New Emails Surfacing
Henry Chao who is the Chief Information Officer had two emails come to the surface in an Energy and Commerce committee hearing today. What we are learning is that the people truly in the weeds of building this thing had concerns about the execution of the roll-out. Their concerns were exacerbated after testifying at a House hearing where he and CMS top official, Marilyn Tavenner, who said that the website was going to be up and running by October 1st. These emails show serious concerns behind the scenes and if it turns out that they knew this was going to fail, shouldn’t they have let the public who is bankrolling their jobs know?
Will Insurance Companies Go Along
Today the House of Representatives is voting on the “keep your insurance plan.” This will probably not go very far. The real question is going to be how state insurance commissioners react. One state (Washington) is saying no while others (Florida) are open to working on this issue.
Was DeMint was right?
Former U.S. Senator and current president of the conservative Heritage Foundation said early on that the healthcare reform law was President Obama’s “Waterloo.” It might be a little early to say that, but as more and more information comes out about this law the public may change their perception that a one size fits all system administered by the federal government might not be the best approach given the differences in each state. The question is whether federal officials will they double down or make changes? With how political this is, I wouldn’t see much happening until after the election unless real pain comes to the forefront.
This announcement and admission that the Administration fumbled the roll out is another scene in an ObamaCare saga challenging this nation and demonstrating the ACA is a law of unintended consequences from a political and public policy standpoint. Insurance executives are calling the option a joke, but what is not funny is how much confusion exists already bogging down our economy and healthcare system.
The President showed once again today why ongoing knowledge of the Affordable Care Act and that the law remains a moving target because it is still being written and implemented. American’s need to know the insurance laws are changing next year. The biggest unknown will be howl insurance commissioners respond to this option and whether or not insurance carriers make all of these new administrative burdens happen in the 32 days left to purchase coverage beginning January 1st.
What do you think? Share your thoughts with me on my weekly radio program America’s Healthcare Challenge. Stream the last episode right here.