One More Obamacare Delay

March 5, 2014

The Obama Administration announced yet one more major delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (Here) People who have health insurance in the individual market may now keep their non-Obamacare-compliant insurance for an additional two years instead of one year.

At least 4.7 million  Americans were affected by the original one year delay, but it's unknown how many people will be affected by this new delay proclamation. In Washington state, 290,000 people were forced off their individual plans because the plans were not compliant with the benefit mandates in Obamacare. Although the Administration allowed states to decide whether to accept the original delay, Washington State Insurance Commissioner Kreidler refused to allow insurance companies to continue to sell non-compliant plans in the individual market. Kreidler continues to force people on to new plans inspite of the Obama Administration's two-year extension provision.

The Administration's reason for the extended delay was to "smooth the transition for consumers and stakeholers." Obamacare was signed into law four years ago, so the Administration had four years to prepare the country for the change to government-compliant health insurance.

The reality is that most Americans liked their existing health insurance and wanted to keep it - just like President Obama guaranteed. Forcing people to change to different and, in many cases more expensive insurance, has been a political nightmare for the Administration. By delaying the mandate for government-approved health insurance for another year, President Obama, and Democrats in general, hope to get past the November 2014 election with minimal voter backlash. This has nothing to do with a "smooth transition" and what's best for consumers. It has to do with politics.



The bottom line is that all of these delays and waivers amount to ex post facto line item vetoes of the bill Congress passed and the president signed.

That is, ex post facto until after elections and then the line item vetoes will be rescinded unilaterally.