The Obama Administration has delayed yet another critical provision of Obamacare until 2015 through a little-noticed ruling on the Labor Department’s website.
The latest delay will extend enforcement of Obamacare’s caps on out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and co-pays for another year until after the 2014 midterm elections. Analysts say the Obamacare limits on consumer costs will boost the costs of healthcare.
The government’s most recent waiver is just the latest in a string of delays that have Democrats in tight congressional races worried about what Democratic Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) warned will be a “huge train wreck coming down.”
With less than seven weeks to go before Obamacare’s grand opening, the healthcare laws $6,350 limit on out-of-pocket costs for individuals and $12,700 cap for families has been pushed back another year until after the 2014 midterm elections.
In 2009, President Barack Obama campaigned vigorously on the cost cap Obamacare provision.
“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.
Now, however, in what increasingly appears to be a “run out the clock” strategy to mask Obamacare’s messy and cost-exploding features until after the midterm elections, Obama has decided to waive the law’s requirements.
Conservatives have questioned the constitutionality of Obama’s frequent decisions to delay or waive key parts of an established law. As Avik Roy of Forbes notes, this is hardly the first time Obama has nullified or modified parts of Obamacare he deemed problematic:
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.
A senior Obama official told the NY Times that the reason for the most recent delay on consumer cost limits was because of problems with “computer systems.”