Today President Obama announced a proposal to allow Americans whose health insurance was scheduled to be cancelled to keep their plans for another year.
Most of this Politico article is dedicated to a barrage of negativity, which is how the entire US media is playing this story today. So let’s skip all the hand-wringing and cut right to the important facts:
The law includes a provision allowing people who, at the time of its passage, had coverage that did not meet the law’s standards to keep their plans, assuming they hadn’t changed plans or seen their plans cancelled since 2010. The proposed fix is “an expansion of the grandfathering principle,” a senior administration official said, allowing insurance companies to retract cancellation notices and provide those cancelled plans for an additional year.
Insurers can re-enroll only those whose plans were slated to be cancelled, and not take in new customers, as Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) has proposed in a bill slated for a Friday floor vote. The Upton bill “would undermine the Affordable Care Act and the marketplaces,” the senior administration official said, while Obama’s plan is aimed at giving consumers “more information, additional choices including keeping their own plans.”
The Department of Health and Human Services will reach out to state insurance commissioners on Thursday and tell them that, in order to ensure a “smooth transition,” insurance companies serving the individual and small-group markets can reintroduce the plans they’d intended to cancel, another senior administration official said.
Insurers, meanwhile, will be informed that they have the option of choosing to reach out to consumers whose plans have been cancelled and offer to provide them for an additional year. Risk pools would be adjusted to offset the change.
Looks like the outrage factory will have to find something new to complain about now — and don’t worry, they will.