President Obama is about to announce that he will administratively permit health insurance companies to delay their cancellation of substandard health care plans by one year.
As you may know, a number of plans on the individual market have been canceled because they don’t meet the standards set out by the Affordable Care Act.
Interestingly, if the company is renewing a substandard plan, they would have to notify the customer of other options, and they’ve had to tell the customer what benefits they’d be losing (in other words, what new Obamacare benefits are not covered by their current substandard plan).
These plans would, however, remain closed to anyone who didn’t already have them.
This strikes me as a smart move by the President. Too many Democrats have been making noise about making a move on their own to delay, or stop entirely, the expiration of these plans. If that happens, we risk the ACA exchange market becoming far more expensive.
What’s also smart is that the President is giving the insurance companies THE CHOICE to continue offering the plans for a year, so now if they don’t, it’s their fault.
By moving first, the President gives Democrats cover, gives them some other (better) alternative to embrace, and effectively pulls the carpet out from under Republicans and other trying to use the federal exchange Web site glitches to undercut Obamacare generally.
Shorter Obama: If you like your Democratic member of Congress, you can now keep your Democratic member of Congress.