Obama admin looking at extending “administrative fix” for noncompliant individual plans — for three years?

posted at 4:21 pm on February 6, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Last November was a particularly — ahem — messy time for President Obama’s crowning legislative achievement. The rollout of the law’s federal exchange website was showcasing newly-plumbed depths of big-government incompetence and obfuscation while millions of insurees in the individual market were balking at notices informing them that their not-comprehensive/expensive-enough healthcare plans were getting cancelled in order to comply with the new standards that ObamaCare had laid down for their guidance. The president’s very own Democrats were desperately floating legislation to enforce the oft-repeated “If you like your plan, you can keep it”-promise that was soon after deemed “The Lie of the Year,” but rather than bother with messy legislation, the Obama administration followed their unilateral employer-mandate delay with an “administrative fix” for these individual plans that would allow insurers to un-cancel cancelled plans for another year.

They hoped that would calm things down for awhile and at least temporarily cushion the spreading revelation that forcing insurees off of inexpensive plans is in fact a feature and not a bug of the law, but that means that a lot of those same uncomfortable conversations are going to be coming due right about the time of the midterms this fall.

Heck, they did it once already — why not extend the “fix” through 2016, really? So what if the decision plagues the already-tottering system with insurance plans that don’t pull their redistributive weight? That’s what risk corridors are for! Via the AP:

The Obama administration is considering an extension of the president’s decision to let people keep their individual insurance policies even if they are not compliant with the health care overhaul, according to two top industry officials.

Avalere Health CEO Dan Mendelson said Thursday that the administration may let policyholders keep that coverage for an additional three years, stressing that no decision has been made. Policymakers are waiting to see what rate hikes health insurers plan for the insurance exchanges that are key to the overhaul’s coverage expansions.

“The administration is entertaining a range of options to ensure that this individual market has stability to it and that would be one thing that they could do,” he said. …

Aetna Inc. Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini also told analysts during a conference call to discuss quarterly earnings that he had heard the plans may be extended. Aetna is the nation’s third-largest health insurer.

Aetna Chief Financial Officer Shawn Guertin said in an interview after the call that there have been discussions about whether the plans should be extended again, but he didn’t have any more details.

Chris Matthews has a point, ya’ll. Honestly, I really just don’t see how anybody could construe labeling President Obama with “lawlessness” as anything but “second-term birtherism.”

And if worst does come to worst, like I said — they’ve always got risk-corridors! Via Scott Gottlieb at Forbes:

Humana announced that it expects to tap the three risk adjustment mechanisms in ObamaCare for between $250 and $450 million in 2014. This amounts to about 25 percent of the insurer’s expected exchange revenue. This money is needed to offset losses that the insurer will take as a result of slower enrollment in its ObamaCare plans, and a skewed risk pool that weighs more heavily toward older and less healthy members than it originally budgeted. …

The company blamed the Obama Administration’s decision late last year to extend grandfathering of individual market plans for the overall deterioration in the risk pool. That means that Humana (like other insurers) was counting on people from the individual market being forced to transition into ObamaCare plans. It’s widely perceived that the Obama Administration counted on that migration as well. But Humana’s statement was a very clear expression of this expectation.


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The Obama administration is considering an extension of the president’s decision to let people keep their individual insurance policies even if they are not compliant with the health care overhaul, according to two top industry officials.

Exit question: When is the “law of the land” NOT “the law of the land”?

Whenever King Barack the Magnificent says it is!

GarandFan on February 6, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Other presidents have issued executive orders, changes, not just President Obama.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 5:26 PM

The power to issue an Executive Order is limited under the constitution.

Just to be clear, the constitution is the law of the land.

While other presidents have issued Executive Orders, both they and their Attorney General have been able to definitively justify the legality of those EO’s under the law, citing the constitutional basis for them.

Not so Obama and Holder.

Eric Holder Can’t Explain Constitutional Basis For Obama’s Executive Orders

thatsafactjack on February 6, 2014 at 5:52 PM

We (the people) voted for president Obama, affordable health care, a second time. He’s doing something to fix the problems. It’s better than complaining and doing nothing.
Other presidents have issued executive orders, changes, not just President Obama.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 5:26 PM

An executive order clarifies implementation of statutes Pickle, it does not alter them or ignores them. As for the president doing something, he threatened to veto a legislative fix. Why? It seems the people here have your number. You want this law, or worse.

ojfltx on February 6, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Still no solutions?

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Yeah, I have one. LET IT BURN. It will collapse of it’s own weight and hopefully you and your ilk will suffer immeasurably more than the ones who didn’t vote for it or your boy king.

BeachBum on February 6, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Pickle can’t comprehend that Obamacare is the answer to a question nobody asked.

Art Vandelay on February 6, 2014 at 6:06 PM

I think with the “Still no solutions?” comment we can safely ignore Pickle as a troll.

And not a good troll either.

PetecminMd on February 6, 2014 at 6:07 PM

That’s the spirit. Sit in your wet diaper and complain.
Senator Cruz tried to do something and he was shot down by his own party.
Keep it up and you will have eight years of Clinton to complain under.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

So Obama really IS racist for delaying the full implementation of Obamacare. A terrorist too.

307wolverine on February 6, 2014 at 6:10 PM

That’s the spirit. Sit in your wet diaper and complain.
Senator Cruz tried to do something and he was shot down by his own party.
Keep it up and you will have eight years of Clinton to complain under.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Hmm, “non”partisan mentions Cruz quite a bit, very interesting. But still, why are you concerned? You’ll be the first on line to vote for cankles.

BeachBum on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 PM

That’s the spirit. Sit in your wet diaper and complain.
Senator Cruz tried to do something and he was shot down by his own party.
Keep it up and you will have eight years of Clinton to complain under.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:08 PM

I’ve been here less than a day and my ignore list is growing by leaps and bounds. I think I’m up to 10 folks.

307wolverine on February 6, 2014 at 6:13 PM

This version of Obummercare is not the same law that was past by the Leader of the Wraiths (Justice Roberts) because our Dear Leader is always changing it, so why should the people, sorry,… why should the ‘folks’ obey it?

One_If_By_Land on February 6, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Nice ignore there.
My point, if it was lost, was that many in your own party have no will or want to repeal the law. Senator Cruz tried to stop funding. He was shot down.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Trolling trolling trolling
Watch the Pickle trolling
YeeHaw

Oh, and btw, you’re the one ignoring the fact that Your president is lawless and ignoring the constitution.

BeachBum on February 6, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Nice jingle, but just let it burn. Right? You have no solutions.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

There is no solution to this clusterfark you and your ilk created but complete repeal. But since Your preezy won’t allow that, then suffer with the rest of us pajama boy.

BeachBum on February 6, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Nice jingle, but just let it burn. Right? You have no solutions.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

a)Let it burn IS a solution. And it will teach a lasting lesson to people like you: socialism sux.

b)Have YOU signed up for obamacare yet? If not…why not?

Solaratov on February 6, 2014 at 6:31 PM

My point, if it was lost, was that many in your own party have no will or want to repeal the law. Senator Cruz tried to stop funding. He was shot down.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Agreed. And many Republicans are only slightly different from many Democrats. (i.e. “Republicrats”) Most conservatives support full repeal of Obamacare.

ZenDraken on February 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Great news. All ObamaCare needs is a few tweaks

I Have No Political Leanings Whatsoever on February 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Nice jingle, but just let it burn. Right? You have no solutions.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

No, it’s not nice. In fact, it’s quite ugly and will result in a lot of suffering. But it’s the fastest way to repeal.

“Fixing” Obamacare is like fixing a perpetual motion machine. No matter what you do to improve it, it will never work, because the fundamental assumptions behind it are flawed.

ZenDraken on February 6, 2014 at 6:44 PM

The “Affordable Care Act” must be the most flexible Law ever invented by man. Maybe it’s not really a Law, just sort-of an outline to guide the Fundamental Transformation officials.

lel2007 on February 6, 2014 at 6:46 PM

There will be no repeal for two years, and if Hillary wins, another eight years.
Fix it now or it will collapse and everyone will suffer.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:56 PM

If they never enforce the law, no one will miss it once it’s repealed.

ezspirit on February 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM

The “Affordable Care Act” must be the most flexible Law ever invented by man. Maybe it’s not really a Law, just sort-of an outline to guide the Fundamental Transformation officials.

Per Bloomberg:

“Jails Enroll Inmates in Obamacare to Pass Hospital Costs to U.S.”

I read the bill back before it was passed and I swear I don’t remember anything about enrolling criminals/felons in Obamacare in order to pass the costs on.

WhirledPeas on February 6, 2014 at 7:01 PM

everyone will suffer.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Including you and yours which makes it all worth it.

BeachBum on February 6, 2014 at 7:02 PM

That’s a great plan. It’s probably why President Obama was re-elected.
You have nothing.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Sweet! Some people will get to keep their policies, and in “exchange” the Exchange policies will have their prices go way up, right before the 2014 election.

The “Risk corridors” are A: subject to Republican attack (and having Republicans get to run on “don’t bail out the insurance companies” should be good for several extra wins in the House and Senate), and B: only cover 80% of the loss. How much money does Obama think the insurance companies will be willing to piss away before they just start pricing plans realistically?

Greg Q on February 6, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 7:11 PM

And what have you got pajama boy?

BeachBum on February 6, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Fix it now or it will collapse and everyone will suffer.

Pickle on February 6, 2014 at 6:56 PM

It is not fixable. The underlying assumption that adding huge bureaucracies and regulations to the already overly-complex health insurance industry will make it better is fundamentally flawed. The underlying assumption of requiring insurers to increase coverage while decreasing cost is fundamentally flawed. The underlying assumption that existing doctors will continue to practice under increasingly onerous regulations is fundamentally flawed. The underlying assumption that all this will reduce cost and improve efficiency is fundamentally flawed. It is not fixable, you can only start over from scratch.

Everyone will suffer, that is already baked-in. Better that it collapse sooner (i.e.: “Let It Burn”) to reduce the amount of suffering, rather than later, as endless “fixes” are implemented.

ZenDraken on February 6, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Hold Obamas fungus plagued feet to the fire until they are charred off.

Murphy9 on February 6, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Enough is enough..If Obama does then then there must be real consequences because of it from Republicans..this lawless president can’t be allowed to do this anymore

sadsushi on February 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM

As I’ve said from day one…
Enforce this pig of a law to the letter. No exceptions, no exemptions. No delays, no shortcuts.

What was that Alinsky rule? Make your adversaries live by their rules or something to that effect?

Make your bed, sleep in it.

freedomfirst on February 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Come on guys, with that teaser on the front page you couldn’t find ONE CLIP of Geoffrey Rush as Barbarossa saying it’s more of a GUIDELINE than a rule? Throw me a bone here! LOL

MajorDad on February 6, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Fix it now or it will collapse and everyone will suffer – Pickle

Good. And then after the collapse, everyone will understand what kind of statist, socialistic hooligans are in your party and maybe the pitchforks and torches marches will begin.

People need to learn a lesson about the facists who control the demoncrat party. As Mark Twain once said, “A cat won’t sit on a hot stove after getting burned one one. And won’t ever sit on a cold stove again either.”

Collapse, suffering and rebirth of liberty. Hoowah!

FortyTwo on February 6, 2014 at 8:57 PM

What a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive

So many at fault for this unholy disaster upon the American people.
Where to start? The Democrats of the Senate in 2009 in passing this; Justice Roberts for legislating from the U.S. Supreme Court.
The constant changes to the law without Congressional legislation;
The Health Care Insurance Companies agreeing to this; The waivers by the Executive branch (E.O.’s); delays for certain parts of the law by the Executive branch and on and on.

When Senator Ted Cruz spent 21 hours & 19 minutes filibustering to NOT fund Obamacare last year. The final vote in the Senate that could have voted to NOT fund it was taken. There were 25 Republican Senators that voted WITH the Democrats TO FUND Obamacare!! 2 Republican Senators were No Votes. That was our last chance to stop this.

So no, Pickle, we don’t have a divided Congress. We have a one party Congress with very few exceptions, but not enough to vote for their Country or the American People.

bluefox on February 6, 2014 at 9:24 PM

“Fixing” Obamacare is like fixing a perpetual motion machine. No matter what you do to improve it, it will never work, because the fundamental assumptions behind it are flawed.

ZenDraken on February 6, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Word.

SomeCallMeJohn on February 6, 2014 at 10:37 PM

If we are going to delay the Unaffordable Care Act, let’s delay it for everyone until 2116. The president can say he got something done and it won’t affect the Republicans in the near term.

geezerintraining on February 7, 2014 at 10:17 AM

He can’t go back. How can people and insurers just pretend this law didn’t happen? And when the group plans start dumping people, the individuals won’t matter.

Collapse. It’s coming.

PattyJ on February 7, 2014 at 11:08 AM

In the off chance that there is an actual conservative in the WH come 2017, he/she can make an “administrative” fix and nullify the who thing.

MoreLiberty on February 7, 2014 at 9:37 PM

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