Understanding that Democrats have midterm elections in November, President Obama is poised once again to throw the rules out the window and establish another major delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In February, the Galen Institute had already counted 35 major changes and delays in Obamacare, 18 of which Mr Obama has made unilaterally.
The Obama administration’s latest admission that the law is untenable will allow insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet minimum coverage requirements dictated by the Affordable Care Act. By the administration’s decision to allow policy holders to keep their current plan, even though they will not meet the requirements, Democrats will avoid having to contend with another wave of policy cancellations in the critical weeks before the election.
“I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” one health insurance industry consultant explained. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.”
It is unclear how long the extension will last for policy holders to be able to keep their current plans. Some have speculated one year while others say possibly until the end of Obama’s term.
Back in November, Obama granted a one year extension to policy holders allowing them to retain their current non-complying plans. Consequently, the plans would not have to be cancelled or upgraded until after the November election. However, insurance companies would have to notify the plan holders 90 days before the policies expired, which also happens to be 90 days before the mid-term elections. Needless to say, millions of policy holders receiving cancellation letters just before the elections would be troublesome for Democrats who, whether they like it or not, own Obamacare.
Although the Obama administration has not yet made the announcement for the delay, insurance sources say the proclamation is “eminent.” One insurance official remarked, “These continual delays, these stops and starts, make it very difficult because we set rates based on predictive modeling. When you change the rules, it has a detrimental impact on your ability to calculate your risk pool and your prices.”