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October 28, 2013

NBC Sources: Obama Knew That Millions Would Lose Coverage

This is interesting.

Although the law claims that all policies in effect from March 23, 2010, will be grandfathered, the agency writing the regulations for this law wrote them as narrowly as possible -- any change in premium, copay, benefit package, or anything at all would be taken as a whole new policy, and thus be stripped of grandfather status and required, by law, to be terminated.

And the White House, of course, oversees the executive agencies writing regulations -- including the one that that almost completely took back the law's promise that you could keep your current policy.

And they've known they were doing this, and they knew they were taking back Obama's promise via bureaucratic regulation, for three years.

President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date -- the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example -- the policy would not be grandfathered.

The Obama Administration knew this choice of regulation would wind up causing 40 to 67 percent of all health policies to be canceled.

Note premiums increase most years -- and the regulation did not even take into account some kind of minor escalation in premium (for example, if the premium changes but no other details do, it's the "same policy" and hence grandfathered).

And if I could speculate here: They did this because they wanted the maximum number of people forced to subsidize the uninsured via ObamaCare's not-so-hidden-now tax.

It would have been simple as hell to write the regulation as "substantially similar" and then offer some safe-harbors for minor changes which would keep the policy grandfathered.

But Obama didn't want that. He actively wanted to break his pledge. So he had his minions write the regulations in such a way that very few existing policies would be grandfathered.

I note as forcefully as I can: While laws are the creatures of Congress, regulations are entirely within the Executive's power. Obama's decision to break this promise is his own action. He could direct the regulation-writing agency to revise the regulations so that they honor the promise that Obama himself made; I do not believe he will.

He never intended to keep this promise. He intended to make the promise, get ObamaCare passed, and then violate the promise by having his executive-controlled rules-writers take the entirety of the promise back.







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