After President Obama announced his plan to fix the problem with millions losing their insurance plans, the execution of that initiative was left up to the individual insurance companies. However, according to a report from NPR, “many of the cancellation notices that insurance companies were sending out were not strictly required by the health law.” The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare says that policies that do not meet certain standards cannot be sold after January 1, 2014, but that does not mean that these particular policies could not have been renewed up to December 31 of this year and the policies would have essentially lasted one more year anyway.
A statement released by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or NAIC lays out the problems the solution proposed by the President. They cited as their main objections that the decision to delay some Obamacare provisions “continues different rules for different policies and threatens to undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond. As Opposing Views noted yesterday, the actual implementation of this solution is a practical nightmare for insurers. Or as the NAIC statement put it, “it is unclear how, as a practical matter, the changes proposed today by the President can be put into effect.” Adding that to enact that change at this late of a date would create “uncertainty and may not address the underlying issues.”
This latest move by the White House is undoubtedly as a result of political panic. The people with tailor-made insurance plans—many of whom are in good health—are needed to offset the risk of adding previously uninsured people to the rolls, especially those with preexisting conditions. Regardless of the political fallout, this would have been the time the Obama Administration should have stuck to the spirit of the plan in place. By trying to appease critics that will never be won over, the White House is instead making a bad problem worse.