On Thursday, CNN senior reporter John King said that the Obama Administration’s most recent delay of a key Obamacare provision that was supposed to limit consumers’ out-of-pocket expenses on deductibles and co-pays could prove seismic come the 2014 midterm elections.
“This one particularly though could have a huge political impact,” said CNN reporter John King. “Because as you mention, hidden in bureaucratic language, the end result is that when these changes kick in, the Administration promised for most Americans your costs would go down. Now it is saying, at least in the short term, your costs could be higher than you anticipated.”
In 2009, President Barack Obama promised voters that his Obamacare healthcare scheme would lower costs to consumers.
“We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick,” said Obama.
But a little-noticed ruling slipped into the Labor Department’s website said the cost caps would be delayed until 2015--a date that critics say is designed to protect vulnerable Democrats from angry voters in the 2014 midterm elections.
Analysts say the consumer cost caps on out-of-pocket expenses will necessarily mean skyrocketing healthcare costs for Americans, as high costs for sicker citizens are shifted to healthier Americans who pay less for health insurance.
As Avik Roy of Forbes points out, this is hardly the first time Obama has delayed key portions of Obamacare:
First, there was the delay of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts until after the election. Then there was the delay of the law’s employer mandate. Then there was the announcement, buried in the Federal Register, that the administration would delay enforcement of a number of key eligibility requirements for the law’s health insurance subsidies, relying on the ‘honor system’ instead.
King said Republicans will use the Obamacare delays to illustrate to voters that “this is big government gone bad” heading into the 2014 midterm elections.
Obamacare health exchange enrollments begin in less than seven weeks.