In a 5-0 unanimous decision, Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange, broke with President Obama and voted against extending one million healthcare plans that are cancelled under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The plans did not fall within the acceptable guidelines prescribed by the ACA.
Last week, in a controversial move, President Obama, by what could be considered executive decree, altered the law and announced that insurance companies could offer renewals into 2014 for all policyholders who were cancelled. Obama’s turnaround came about as a mea culpa for his misleading millions of Americans into thinking that they could keep their existing plans, as he had promised.
California state leaders decided against the extensions because a loss of customers at the exchange might create funding shortages, driving insurance rates upwards. Susan Kennedy, a Covered California board member, admitted the loss of existing policies will bring hardship for some people, “but delaying the transition won’t solve a single problem.”
California is not the only blue state to decline. Washington and Minnesota have also rejected Obama’s latest fix. Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman, when quizzed by Washington reporters about states rejecting Obama’s request, said, “It is up to individual states to decide. That is as much as we can do.”