In the wake of millions of Americans losing their health care insurance coverage due to mandates in the Affordable Care Act (aka: ObamaCare), Barack Obama announced he would change the law himself to fix the problem his signature legislation started. Yet within hours of his proclamation, health care insurance heavy hitters from Washington state to Washington, DC have hammered Obama’s decree, as reported by both The Seattle Times and Reuters on Nov. 14, 2013.
While upwards of fifteen million fellow citizens have seen their privately purchased health care insurance cancelled due to the policy not meeting the requirements ordered upon all Americans, Obama stated today that he would order an Executive Branch “administrative fix” to the ACA law, thus allowing health insurance companies to extend policies for individuals and families who have already received notices that their policies will be cancelled at the end of the year.
The Wheels on the Bus Fall off, off, off…
Before the figurative echo of his voice faded from the walls of the White House press conference room, Obama faced two very real roadblocks in his announced solution. Initially, as cited by Katie Pavlich of TownHall.com:
It’s questionable whether Obama even has the authority to go around Congress to implement an administrative fix.
Changes to major pieces of legislation require Congressional approval.
Second, within two short hours of the Obama proclamation, State of Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued a statement to the press that read:
I understand that many people are upset by the notices they have recently received from their health plans and they may not need the new benefits [in the Affordable Care Act] today, but I have serious concerns about how President Obama’s proposal would be implemented and more significantly, its potential impact on the overall stability of our health insurance market.
To the heart of the matter, Kreidler flatly stated:
I do not believe his proposal is a good deal for the state of Washington. We will not be allowing insurance companies to extend their policies.
Roughly the same time Kreidler was throwing his sabots into Obama’s machinery, Jim Donelon, the President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, weighed in on the purported ObaFix, possibly not exactly what Barack Obama wanted to hear:
It is unclear how, as a practical matter, the changes proposed today by the president can be put into effect.