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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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November 14, 2013 - 9:03 am

Senior White House officials told reporters on a call before President Obama’s announcement of his “administrative fix” that the purpose of the yearlong extension is to educate Americans about the plans they should be getting under the Affordable Care Act.

The administration officials also compared the yearlong reprieve to the discretionary authority under which the White House deferred enforcement against young illegal immigrants.

Speaking on background, the officials said the fix was intended to address the “confusion and challenges” surrounding millions of Americans receiving cancellation notices from their insurance companies.

The option to renew plans for one year is viewed as an “extension of grandfathering principles.”

However, to extend plans insurers will be required to “notify consumers what protections these renewed plans do not include” and “notify consumers that they will have new options on the marketplace that will have better coverage and subsidies.”

It “doesn’t include older, noncompliant plans to be sold to new customers in 2014.”

And if someone has already had their plan canceled? “They have the ability to reach out to those individuals and renew their plans for an additional year,” one of the officials said. “It may not be taken by all insurance companies and commissioners; we wanted to make clear it is an option.”

They added they’ll try to ensure “minimal” effect on people’s premiums in 2015.

The focus will be on “transition” instead of continuing to let consumers have the choice of their current plans. “It’s very important here to think about what this is,” an official said.

One official said the individual small group insurance market should be viewed as a “bridge” to better coverage, saying about half of that market only have an individual plan for a year or less before moving into group coverage.

“We will exercise discretion in terms of enforcement,” the official said, saying to these insurance companies they will not require an immediate upgrade of plans “for this universe of people.”

The administration officials made clear that they still won’t support the GOP fix expected on the floor for a vote Friday, complaining that it would allow people to indefinitely keep their chosen plans and “undermine” Obamacare.

The House Rules Committee has a 3 p.m. meeting today to advance the Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013, sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

Officials said they “still expect that the marketplaces will be robust, but the fix is just for helping people for whom cancellation of their policy is viewed as a burden.”

One characterized it as “a way to help smooth the transition,” adding that they are “optimistic” about continuing to build the marketplace.

Officials said the message should be that when the White House sees Obamacare problems, “we’re going to fix them.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
You know, there are problems with our tax code. Perhaps the next GOP Presidential Candidate should run on a temporary decision to not enforce the tax code while we educate people on what it should look like.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"MOVE THESE DECK CHAIRS AROUND!!!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The goal here is not to help those who lost their insurance, the goal is to help vulnerable Democrat senators. This will merely try to punt the pain by 1 year but it still means that "keeping your insurance if you like it" was always a lie, as to not cancel plans will undermine Obamacare. The administration is counting on a compliant HC insurance industry (which was just villified by Obama last week) and a fundamentally ignorant public. We know the latter is true, but will the HC insurance industry fight back?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (57)
All Comments   (57)
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My prediction is this will not stop 90% of the cancellations. These insurers and state regulators have been preparing the past year for this, they cant just change everything instantly just because obama issues a proclamation, especially for business they can only have for 1 more year anyway. This is just a way for obama to be able to now blame the evil insurers for the cancellations that his policies caused. That is all obama knows, fingerpointing and blame passing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
More things ready to hit the public after 2014 or "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet."

1. People will be daily learning the difference between Coverage as detailed in their policy documents, and Coverage as in what you are actually authorized for.

Big difference this one under Obamacare. This is because of all the "rationing" provisions in Obamacare and the number of "authorities" who decide this.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Things ready to hit the public after 2014.

1. Under Obamacare no hospital in the United States will be allowed to expand, add new departments, or close without permission from Obamacare panels.

2. Every medical protocol will have a benefit value number and that number times the number of years left in you supposed life span will produce a value which determines if you get the protocol, or don't, or get a lower cost substitute,

3. If your doctor performs something the Obama panels think he shouldn't have he has committed a felony under Obamacare.

4. The entire history of your doctor visits, diagnosis and proscribed treatments must be made available by your doctor to roving bands of RACS - Recovery Audit Consultants.

5. As I learn of more I will post them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama and the Democrats have two options: very bad, and very bad. Too bad. They deserve it. The unfortunates that have lost their policies are the victims of Democrat arrogance.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
These crazy people have no idea how businesses work. Some executive at some insurance company can't just push a button and all those policies are magically available again for the same price.

Suppose Ford decides not to sell trucks next year. It tells all the truck assembly plants to stop production and switch over to cars. It rearranges assets and people to follow the new business plan. New contracts are drawn up and old contracts are settled. Perhaps there are layoffs or new hirings to accommodate the change. Then a month and a half after cancelling truck production, Ford suddenly decides to produce and sell trucks next year—can it be done? Without excessive profit loss or price increases?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"the purpose of the yearlong extension is to educate Americans about the plans they should be getting under the Affordable Care Act."
---------------------------------
Will we be going to camp?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, it's called FEMA camp.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Don't give them any ideas...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
From where does BO derive the power to personally rewrite law and order businesses to make concessions? Oh wait...nevermind.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Michelle lets him.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama’s Obamacare “fix,” announced just a few hours ago, his supposed one year postponement, by his personal command (all hail Great Leader!), of the cancellation of and/or his ordered reinstatement of the millions of health insurance policies whose cancellations were forced by Obamacare—cancellations of policies which, up until just a few hours ago, he and his various minions and supporters had uniformly derided as “junk “and “inferior,” policies put out by “bad apple” insurance companies--is so fraudulent, misleading, and manipulative in so many ways that it is hard to know where to even begin to critique it.

First and foremost, this is temporary, emergency first aid, a political fix, a tourniquet designed to stop Obamacare from bleeding to death in the next couple of days or weeks, and obviously designed to fend off calls for Obamacare’s repeal, thus allowing Obamacare—zombie-like—to keep shambling forward, even as various rotting body parts fall off, a "fix" designed to slow the avalanche of politically disastrous cancellations until after the 2014 elections (that avalanche to resume after those 2014 elections are over), and a "fix" designed to shift the blame for this clusterf..k onto the eeevill Insurance companies.

To begin with, Democrats, in fending off all calls for Obamacare’s repeal or revision, have argued that Obamacare is now “on the books”, is “settled law,” and “the Law of the Land” which, somehow, cannot be changed. So, how can Obama--who, by the way, has no legal authority to do so—selectively enforce this “Law of the Land” to grant such a postponement? Moreover, since the President has no authority to interfere with private contracts—such as those for health insurance-- entered into in the individual states, how can he possibly change their terms, conditions, and prices?

As I understand it, the Insurance companies have spent more than three years, so far, doing the very expensive, and massive amount of paperwork, reshuffling, and restructuring necessary to implement Obamacare that resulted in these cancellations, and in order to reverse these millions of cancellations it would require these policies to again undergo the lengthy process of being underwritten, each policy variant then having to be approved, state by state, by each State’s Insurance Commissioner before they could be reissued, if they could be--on the old terms, with the old coverage, at the old rates--and all this by December 15th, 2013.

It is extremely doubtful that most insurance companies would be able to do or will even want to go through this arduous, time-consuming and, no doubt, expensive process just to issue policies good for one more year.

The President’s signature accomplishment, Obamacare, and now the President himself have precipitated this crisis and now deepened it, but—as I am sure he and his minions have calculated--when many of these now cancelled policies cannot just be reinstated by his fiat in the next thirty days, and in the form and at the cost they were before cancellation, the blame for this monumental mess will be shifted onto the Insurance companies.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This new mandate by Der Kaiser is a win for actuaries—if they get paid by the hour. It is a loss for everyone else.

No way can an insurance company just offer millions of policies without knowing how big the pool will be, the demographics and ages within the pool and a few other variables. The only way they could make such a reckless offer for coverage is to raise premiums so high that these variables are inconsequential. Or they can go out of business or refuse to offer these policies.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Any manufactured disaster presents a win-win for those with wealth, power and no scruples. Expect an unending procession of such disasters. Apparently there is no controlling legal authority.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sure they'll try a one year punt....until just after the 11/14 election. Oh, and by the way, millions of people will see the cancellation of their employer funded health care at just about the same time. Commander Zero claims he has the authority to do the extension, but he does not have the authority to force insurance companies to cooperate. Of course, you may get a visit from the IRS if you don't, but then we all knew that, didn't we??!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is good to know that the bad apples have changed back into good apples. It is kind of like Cinderella getting another hour to get home.

Next up: the administration changes pickles back into cucumbers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The evil doers are okay for one more year. Yay.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wow, I even got my virginity back! Thanks, Mr. President!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In fact, no matter what hunk you can land with your Hobamacare BC pills, they restore your virginity as soon as you take them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just like those 72 virgins in Muslim Paradise, who "re-hymenate" overnight.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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