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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: CORRECTION: “Keep your plan” fix to be prolonged until just before the 2016 Presidential election (!!)

The first leaks said the midterms. But may as well be hung for a Presidency as the Senate, eh? The Times buries the lead, eighteen (18) paragraphs down:

A White House official said Wednesday that it would allow insurers to continue existing policies with renewals as late as Oct. 1, 2016, so individuals and small businesses could have noncompliant coverage well into 2017.

I dunno. Postponing the enforcing a law until after the mid-terms seems a little sketchy. But postponing it 'til after a Presidential election?! That seems a little over the top to me.

The reprieve was the latest in a series of waivers, deadline extensions and unilateral actions by the administration that have drawn criticism from the law’s opponents and supporters, many saying President Obama was testing the limits of his powers.

The action reflects the difficulties Mr. Obama has faced in trying to build support for the Affordable Care Act and the uproar over his promise — which he later acknowledged had been overstated [delicately put!]— that people who liked their insurance plans could keep them, no matter what.

Wednesday’s action goes much further, essentially stalling for two more years one of the central tenets of the much-debated law, which was supposed to eliminate what White House officials called substandard insurance and junk policies.

In favor of junk policies with narrow networks, narrow formularies, high co-pays and deductibles, and balance billing, that are bad or worse, randomly, according to your luck of the draw in the lotteries for age, employment, jurisdiction, and family status, among other things. Bonus points for being 55+ and forced into Medicaid so you can't pass on the house to the kids!

The extension could help Democrats in tight midterm election races because it may avoid the cancellation of policies that would otherwise have occurred at the height of the political campaign season this fall.

In announcing the new transition policy ["transition policy." I like that], the Department of Health and Human Services said it had been devised “in close consultation with members of Congress,” [no doubt!] and it gave credit to a number of Democrats in competitive races, including Senators Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Mark Udall of Colorado.

Well, it's nice to know that that in 2014 we're doing what amounts in practice to an on-the-fly rewrite of a law passed in 2009, based on the Democrats' need to win seats in swing states. What could possibly be more Constitutional or legitimate?

The move reflects the administration’s view that a divided Congress would not be willing to make changes to the law, but lawyers questioned the legitimacy of the action and said it could have unintended consequences in the long run.

Yes, the "divided Congress" is -- work with me here, Democrats -- the result of an election. What are we, some kinda second-world failed state where the faction in power gets to rewrite the law by itself, even if the voters didn't give it the power to do so? Wait, don't answer that.

“I support national health care, but what the president is doing is effectively amending or negating the federal law to fit his preferred approach,” said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. “Democrats will rue the day if they remain silent in the face of this shift of power to the executive branch [a little understated, no?].”

No, they won't "rue the day." Ka-ching! It's like "I'll be gone, you'll be gone" except in DC. Or not!

* * *

Again, leaving aside the issue that if those mean Republicans had any stones, they'd call this the legitimacy crisis it is and impeach Obama for it, what frosts me is the unfairness of it. As I asked:

How about the marks consumers citizens who actually believed Obama would enforce the law, ditched the policies they liked, and bought ObamaCare because, under the mandate, they had to? Do they get a do-over? (Who am I kidding, right?)

To which the standard Obot/career "progressive"/Democratic loyalist/flaccid "liberal"* answer is: "The change doesn't affect very many people; a few million at most." WaPo:

The senior administration officials denied political motives and played down the practical effect of preserving the skimpy health plans longer than expected. One official told reporters that, based on the estimates of congressional budget analysts, 1.5 million people have such plans that they bought individually or through small employers. With natural attrition — because people may renew such policies if they already have them but cannot buy them if they do not — the number of Americans with such policies by 2016 will probably be “a very small [unless you're one of them] number of people,” one official said.

First, the numbers, as with every other ObamaCare number, are soft. The Times again:

The number of people with noncompliant** coverage is not known. Insurers sent out perhaps 4.5 million cancellation notices last fall, but some of the policyholders have bought new coverage that complies with the law [Oh, sorry about that! You trusted us? What were you thinking?]. Administration officials said that the number of people with noncompliant policies would shrink by attrition in the next two years.

Second, where did this Obot tendency to throw people under the bus for the greater good -- which so often turns out to be their good -- come from? I suspect Kos, which planted the 11-dimensional chess game in the brains of ordinary citizens. Every man his own Axelrod! ("He has to say that!") Over time, though, I think the level of cynicism will prove corrosive. If, for example, you look at the 12 Point Platform, it really is designed to benefit everyone***. Wouldn't it be nice to have that sort of politics? Will either legacy party be able to deliver it? the political class? The squillionaires?

NOTE * Can you think of the right word? I can't. I mean the real right word, not snark.

NOTE ** Non-compliant with what? The law? What law?

NOTE *** As opposed to this or that demographic sliver, or this or that "identify as", as serviced by this or that faction of the Democratic nomenklatura, and funded by this or that faction of the political class.

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Submitted by weldon on

Large employers can offer plans that don't meet the "minimum value" requirement -- i.e., that cover less than 60% of employee costs and don't include "mandated" coverage -- and only pay the employer mandate penalty (assuming that actually goes into effect at some point) for employees who
1) reject the plan, and
2) buy coverage on an exchange, and
3) receive a subsidy for the exchange plan

‘Skinny plans’ gain traction among employers