Insurers Worry Last Week's Fix 'Undermines the Fundamental Structure of the Law'

Last week the White House announced that Obamacare itself could count as a hardship, meaning anyone with a cancelled plan could opt out of the individual mandate for 2014. Friday, CBS This Morning got some reaction from insurers, who were not consulted about the change ahead of time. They were not happy.

“If the mandates starts going away or being, uh, it’s effectiveness is taken away, you know that really undermines the fundamental structure of the law.”

Remember, the reason insurers signed on to this scheme in the first place was that the individual mandate would guarantee them millions of new customers. That would help offset the cost of pre-existing conditions and expanded coverage. No one is talking about rolling back those additional benefits but now, before the first deadline has even passed, the White House has put the first small crack in the mandate.

There were a few weeks back in November when the law’s supporters were relying on the claim that Obamacare was “the law.” But if the “the law” can change at the whim of the White House that argument falls apart. Now it’s a matter of deciding who gets the special treatment and why. As Bob Laszewski put it, what’s your “hardship?”