November 15, 2013
The good news is that Obama has cowed to the endless shaming he has suffered after stealing millions of Americans’ healthcare and trying to bully them into paying for new policies that often cost five or ten times as much, and said that they now how his permission to wait a year before paying for these exponentially more expensive policies.
Well, that isn’t really ‘good news,’ as the term is usually understood. It is just better news than the bad news, which is that even with Obama’s blessing, the whole mess is so overwhelmingly complicated that it is almost certainly impossible for those who lost their insurance to actually get it back, even if the insurance companies agreed to pick the dropped customers back up on plans that have been illegal for a month and a half, which they are not going to do.
He has already legally signed away billions of dollars to these insurance companies. They are not simply going to give it back because he gave a speech saying they will.
The Obamacare debacle is now officially as silly as the situation with that crack-smoking Canadian mayor. If not in fact sillier.
Oh, and the website is still broken. Though I can cut him some slack on that one. Running websites is hard.
Obama said on Thursday that to fix the problem of some health insurance coverage cancellations since online marketplaces opened, insurers could renew those plans for a year.
The move was in response to a tide of anger from Republicans and fellow Democrats that Obama was not fulfilling his frequent promise that people who like their current health plans would be able to keep them under Obamacare.
The fracas has allowed critics to question Obama’s credibility and reignited a broad debate about the benefits of the health system overhaul, forcing Obama to give a sweeping apology to Americans on Thursday.
“I think it’s legitimate for them to expect me to have to win back some credibility on this healthcare law in particular and on a whole range of these issues in general,” Obama said during a press conference.
Several million Americans have received cancellation notices because insurers did not renew policies that were protected because they predated the 2010 law, or because they were made after the law was enacted.
The problem has been compounded by the fact that HealthCare.gov, the federal website where Americans can shop for new insurance plans, has been plagued by technical difficulties.
But it is unclear whether the fix announced on Thursday will prevent a large number of policies from being canceled or soothe Democrats concerned that the botched rollout has damaged their standing in 2014 re-election fights.
It will be up to state insurance commissioners to allow the Obamacare fix to go ahead, and it will be up to insurers whether to renew plans that have already been canceled.
Two insurance groups questioned Obama’s proposed solution.
“Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers,” said Karen Ignani, president and chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the lobbying arm of the insurance industry.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners said in a statement that it was unclear how Obama’s proposal on canceled policies can be put into effect.