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December 18, 2013

Gangster Government: Obama "Asks"/Threatens Insurers Into Extending Payment Deadlines

Gabe earlier recommended the read-the-whole-thing treatment for this article. Andy did, and pulled this quote:

"It's still unclear how much cooperation HHS will get from insurers, who have been asked to extend payment deadlines into January, cover people's drugs and medical treatment if they are between plans and allow people to sign up later than Dec. 23 to get insurance Jan. 1. Health industry consultant Kip Piper said HHS doesn't have the authority to enforce what he calls these "political requests." But HHS said it will consider insurers' cooperation now when it decides which ones can participate on the insurance exchanges next year.

"They are simultaneously asking insurers to assume the cost and risk of non-payment, taking public credit for it, and threatening insurers with loss of business if they don't comply," said Piper, a former government and insurance industry official."

So, either insure people who aren't really insured (as they haven't paid yet) or be excluded from selling insurance entirely.

Obama made them an offer they couldn't refuse. So they didn't.

Insurers have agreed to extend the deadline for individuals to pay for insurance policies they choose through President Obama's health care program, industry group America's Health Insurance Plans announced Wednesday, about a week after the Department of Health and Human Services "strongly encouraged" it to do so.

As a result of the change, individuals who pick plans by Dec. 23 will be considered covered as of Jan. 1 as long as they pay their first month's premiums by Jan. 10. Previously, payment had been required by Dec. 31.

"The short time period in which to complete these steps, particularly around the holidays, combined with the ongoing technical issues with healthcare.gov have raised concerns that some consumers’ coverage may not be able to begin on January 1," AHIP wrote in a statement.

AHIP has not yet said if they'll undertake the other money-losing actions they were "strongly encouraged" to take, such as treating doctors not in the health care network as being in the network. That is, paying certain doctors for health care despite having no actual contract with them.

Obama ordered this -- I mean, strongly encouraged this -- so that people wouldn't realize, at least for a few months, that they were now unable to "keep [their] doctor," as repeatedly promised.


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posted by Ace at 05:08 PM

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