The Obama administration is expected to announce another delay to the implementation of Affordable Care Act to allow insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet Obamacare’s minimum coverage requirements.
The move would prolong the one-year “keep your plan fix” so as to avoid another wave of health policy cancellations which could hurt Democrats just weeks before the November midterm elections,The Hill reports.
“The cancellations would have created a firestorm for Democratic candidates in the last, crucial weeks before Election Day,” The Hill said. “The White House is intent on protecting its allies in the Senate, where Democrats face a battle to keep control of the chamber.”
The fix had been put in place late last year after an uproar erupted when millions of people discovered their existing plans were being cancelled under Obamacare despite the president’s repeated assurances otherwise.
The administration has yet to confirm the policy change, but insurance sources told The Hill that a public announcement would be “imminent.” The newspaper reports that it is unclear how long the extension would be, but one source believed it could last until the end of Obama’s second term and possibly beyond.
This latest move would follow numerous other delays unilaterally decided by the president.
In July, the president announced a one-year delay until 2015 of the employer mandate which would have required businesses to provide health insurance to employees by Jan. 2014 or face a tax penalty.
In February, Obama changed the deadline again, moving it to 2016. The move provoked widespread criticism among Republicans who renewed their criticism that the healthcare law is a “train wreck.”
Veteran GOP strategist Karl Rove commented at the time that the decision was a politically calculated strategy to save Democrats in the run-up to the elections.
“The president didn’t want another avalanche of cancellations before this fall’s midterm election,” Rove said, adding that if millions lose their insurance plans shortly before the election, “the consequences would be disastrous for the president’s popularity, and that of the congressional Democrats who loyally voted for the Affordable Care Act, sight and text unread.”
New Obamacare delay unfair to individuals, says Congressman Allen West
The latest delay in Obamacare proves that “big government does not work — and we see it happening right here,” former Florida congressman Allen West told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
“The president always talks about fairness and fair share and inequality,” West told John Bachman on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV. “Then, why is he continuing to grant all of these delays and waivers and exemptions to unions, to cronies, to employers, big businesses?
“Why not the same to the individual American citizen, when they see their wages being depressed, they are out of work, they don’t see any future and hope? Mr. President, you talk about fairness. What about fairness to the individual American?”
On Monday, the Obama administration delayed another part of the Affordable Care Act, this one affecting companies with 50 to 99 employees. The companies will not face a tax penalty until 2016 for not providing workers with health insurance.
Last July, the employer mandate for Obamacare was delayed until next year, even though individuals face a tax penalty for not having health coverage this year.
The latest delay marked the eighth one-year extension of mandates to President Barack Obama’s signature domestic legislation since it was signed into law in 2010, according to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service. The report was provided to Newsmax by the office of GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.
West, who is a retired Army lieutenant colonel, is among many Republicans who have long charged that Obamacare is unworkable and should be repealed.
“Is this the law of the land, or it is just some imperial edict that can be changed willy-nilly by the stroke of a pen or the use of a cellphone?” he asked Newsmax. “We continue to see these changes to employer-based mandates. But the one that is most important: Why not a delay for the individual mandate?
“This was truly rammed down the throats of the American people,” West added. “In the world of academics, theory works very well — but when it comes to practical application, now you see things falling apart.”
Republican disunity is keeping the party from taking the lead in the Obamacare debate, he said.
“That’s the problem with the Republican Party: You cannot get them to come out as unified messengers on major policy issues. Right now, the Republican Party needs a singular voice, a true leader.”
That’s not, however, House Speaker John Boehner.
“He’s supposed to be the third in line to the presidency,” West said of the Ohio Republican. “Any time the president gets up and gives a press conference or something like that, John Boehner should be up there giving the counterargument.
“John Boehner should be up there saying: ‘Here’s our plan. The president keeps talking about we don’t have a plan.’ His denial of us not having a plan does not mean that’s true — and he should be able to articulate that plan step by step.
“The key thing is, in a constitutional republic, a law is supposed to be applicable to everyone,” West said. “That’s why I say this is not the law of the land. This is just an edict that can continually be changed and manipulated according to politics.
“That’s a great point to bring up with this president and his administration. This is not applicable to everyone — and we need to have a law that is applicable to everyone.
“If this law cannot be applicable to everyone, then we need to scrap it.”
[both articles from NEWSMAX.COM]
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NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis