Jonathan Adler has spent the past three years explaining the many illegalities involved in Barack Obama’s spontaneous “fixes” to the Affordable Care Act. According to Barack’s latest effort to evade the legal requirements of his Administration’s greatest achievement, Obama has announced that “…insurance companies will be allowed to renew policies that were in force as of October 1, 2013 for one additional year, even if they fail to meet relevant PPACA requirements.”
“What is the legal basis for this change,” asks Adler? There is none. The only offering from the Regime is that it will “suspend enforcement of market provisions” for plans currently in effect. That is, Obama has unilaterally decided that the Executive Branch will NOT enforce relevant provisions of the ACA as passed by Congress and signed into law by Barry himself! So even though the renewed plans may be “substandard,” according to the Affordable Care Act, the federal government will not enforce penalties as required by the law.
Unfortunately, two little problems persist: 1.) these “plan extensions” will remain illegal under federal law regardless of Barack’s sudden benevolence; and 2.) insurance companies would still have to “…obtain approval from state insurance commissioners” in order to keep the plans in force. Naturally, Barack doesn’t get involved in such trivia. If he believes something will look good to voters, he jumps right in (always making certain there will be an ample supply of fall guys should things not work out.)
But here, Adler raises the following question: What would happen if an insurance company “…denies payment for something that is not covered under the [existing] policy but that would have been covered under the PPACA and the insured sues?” The insurance company would be forced to “…seek judicial enforcement of an illegal insurance policy.” Worse yet would be the resulting public perception that a company was trying to withhold the legally mandated treatment of an insured! The fact that Barack said it was OK would not carry much weight and would ultimately be forgotten.
What it all means is that Barack is cleverly and conveniently throwing insurance providers–from which he has demanded support, trust, and massive financial concessions–directly under the infamous Obama bus. Whatever providers wind up doing, they will eventually find themselves between a rock and a hard place while Obama–by once again ignoring the terms of his own law–makes himself appear the friend of the people.
To those who lost their insurance coverage, Obama said “I completely get how upsetting this can be” to lose insurance plans that I promised Americans would be able to keep. “To those Americans, I hear you loud and clear.” Funny how tone deaf Barack was when ObamaCare was being shoved through Congress.
And since when has Obama been concerned about keeping promises to the American people?
Jonathan Adler has raised a good point. But the more important question must be, what is the Obama Regime’s REAL purpose for this latest, illegal ObamaCare fix? Will the DOJ be “forced” to take action at some point against insurers foolhardy enough to fall for Obama’s political gamesmanship by extending the existence of illegal policies? When his wholly owned DOJ files suit against these insurers, will Obama simply shrug his petite shoulders and claim he was only trying to help, but was unsuccessful?
Remember that the entire purpose of ObamaCare is the construction of a road to single payer. In order to accomplish this, insurance companies must first be destroyed. How many millions–or billions–could the nation’s insurance providers be fined by a DOJ or HHS in Barack’s back pocket? And how much trust in these providers would be lost by the American public?
Is this latest example of presidential largesse just another planned step down the road to a federal takeover?