Obamacare: Band-aids for a band-aid healthcare plan will cause more injury

Obamacare just got a fresh injection of uncertainty due to Obama promising to keep his “you can keep the policy you have” promise.

Bill Clinton sorta forced the issue on Nov. 12th:
“I personally believe, even if it takes a change in the law the president should honor the commitment that the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got”

Obama has decided to extend “grandfather” status to existing insurance plans, potentially allowing them to continue for existing customers until October 2015 – assuming there is assistance from state insurance commissioners.
Here’s the letter sent to them.

Meanwhile, in the article
“House Passes Bill Letting People Keep Their Health Plans”, we learn that 39 House Dems backed the non-regulating #KeepYourHealthPlan bill from a Michigan Republican by the name of *Upton.

Wisconsin’s own Ron Kind was among the 39. – [complete list]

That bill won’t make it through the Senate, and Obama vows to veto it, but now Ron Kind can say that he also believes in keeping promises to the American people (and in bipartisansip and apple pie and the Packers).

Meanwhile the Senate’s Dems are probably pissing their pants.
That Dem edge over the GOP due to the shutdown is erased.

“Voters are divided 39 – 39 percent on whether they would vote for a Democrat or a Republican in their Congressional district, down from a 43 – 34 percent Democratic advantage in an October 1 Quinnipiac University poll” source

They’re wondering if they should support
Senator Landrieu’s bill [LA-D].** Or Johnson’s [WI-Tea Party]. Or Udall‘s [CO-D]. [Slate’s Weigel summarizes those]

Landrieu said, “We’ll probably need legislation to make it stick,” – “it” being the “keep your plan” promise.

If it’s the promise that anybody cares about, she’s right. The problem is the promise undermines Obamacare.

The Dems care more about being elected again than they care about healthcare? Right now they are all scrambling. It’s all short term band-aids for a national band-aid healthcare program.

As unofficial Dem spokeswoman at DKos Joan McCarter says,
“At this point, the executive fix is the only game in town, which isn’t a bad thing politically, because it does put the onus back on insurance companies for cancellations.”

Which does not answer the question why did Obamacare leave the door open to allow healthcare companies to legally cancel those policies?

Come on. Who can be shocked that they are unscrupulous? These are the companies that profit off of sickness.

The President has a fix. Why worry?

what me worry

For one thing, Republicans are saying Obama’s solution is “extralegal”. (See the Weekly Standard)

And for another thing, some state commissioners are saying “no”.

One blue state case in point is Washington’s Mike Kreidler:
“I do not believe his proposal is a good deal for the state of Washington. In the interest of keeping the consumer protections we have enacted and ensuring that we keep health insurance costs down for all consumers, we are staying the course. We will not be allowing insurance companies to extend their policies.” – source: AtlanticWire

Also on the no list:
Arkansas
Rhode Island
Vermont

Also concerning is that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is expressing “concern” because basically – they don’t get how this will work.
“…it is unclear how, as a practical matter, the changes proposed today by the President can be put into effect”.

For the record, according to WH Press Secretary Carney, Kentucky, Florida and California are going along with the plan.
According to Reuters, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, Ohio, and Oregon also said they’ll work with the extension.

Sixteen other states – including Alabama, Virginia, Minnesota, Maryland and Michigan – are still thinking it over their, said Reuters.

* We get a sense of the trustworthiness of the bill author Rep. Upton (or the ignorance of the general population?) from this quote found in his press release:

“This bill is to help provide peace of mind to folks like the farmer in Bangor, Michigan, who just found out, after purchasing his family’s insurance for the last 30 years, that he will be able to keep their plan no more. And the sticker shock will be unbearable as their premiums double and their deductible jumps nearly three thousand bucks.”

Really? A middle-age man working in a dangerous profession was getting a fantastic healthcare deal on the open market? I want to see that guy’s policy!!!

**Times Picayune Obama’s health care fix similar to Mary Landrieu’s bill

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