Update to this story.
So the latest is that Obama has temporarily suspended the individual mandate for people who have had their plans cancelled. He has declared that if people want to buy catastrophic plans for this coming year, that they can.
Um…well of course, not so much.
1. There’s this little pesky thing called the law and the Constitution.
Now that Obama stuck us with this thing, he isn’t entitled to unilaterally change the law without Congressional approval. Yet, this is what? The fourth or fifth time he has done this with relation to Obamacare. Under the Constitution, he can make rules as to implementing the law, but he cannot change the law, particularly when the dates are a required part of the law.
2. How does this solve the question of people losing their insurance?
He says that people can buy catastrophic plans. But what about most of the people who had plans, many of which were good, more than catastrophic plans, that provided them with the doctors, hospitals and medicines they liked and needed? Now that he killed those plans, this doesn’t get them back. Moreover, given that his words don’t vitiate the law, no insurance company is going to feel free to be able to offer catastrophic plans that would be in violation of the law as it currently stands.
This is the biggest problem, you will still have millions uninsured come January 1.
3. Can we even believe anything that he says as to the mandate?
He told us that insurance companies would be allowed to let people stay on the plans which had been cancelled. Of course, same problem, that this declaration doesn’t change the law. But also, having stuck the companies and us with this law, as we found out, the companies are being told by the federal government that they can’t do it anyway.
Here is a classic from the Horizon Blue Cross letter: Government told us you can’t keep your policy:
Horizon BCBS/NJ wanted to let customers keep their policies in 2014, based upon President Obama’s declaration that he would allow cancelled plans to be renewed. The federal government, however, notified the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance that current policies cannot be renewed without major changes that would have changed the plans dramatically and led to larger price increases.
So while Obama is trying to save face publicly, something else going on behind the scenes.
So I wouldn’t want to bet on this declaration from Obama either.
We’ve seen how much his word is worth…