From the Wall Street Journal:
WASHINGTON—The House on Friday voted to give insurers one more year to offer health plans due to be canceled under the new health law, with a clutch of Democrats backing a Republican plan in a rebuff to the White House.
The measure passed 261-157, with 39 Democrats joining 222 Republicans to respond to complaints that millions of Americans who buy insurance coverage directly from insurers face cancellation of their policies.
The vote came one day after President Barack Obama —seeking to limit Democratic defections and making good on his promise that “if you like your health plan, you can keep it”—said that he would let insurers re-enroll consumers for one year in plans that didn’t meet the law’s minimum standards and so were slated to be canceled at year-end.
Unlike Mr. Upton’s bill, Mr. Obama’s decision would reinstate canceled insurance policies only for people already enrolled and wouldn’t allow the plans to be sold to new customers.
The White House said that Mr. Obama would veto the Upton bill, saying it would allow insurers to sell substandard plans to new customers, omitting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and charging women more than men.
Only one year?
Why offer a gift to the Democrats to let them have an easier time in 2014 and then put us all back under the heel of Obamacare? I don’t get it.
If this didn’t have the 2014 expiration date on it, then it would mean the end of Obamacare. It would give “opt out” permission to both those who want insurance and also to insurance companies wanting to attract other risk pools. Since there is no law mandating that insurance companies actually enter the Affordable Care Acts health insurance market place. We could see the entire project collapse. The only thing left would be the obnoxious, criminal, and unconstitutional requirement to buy insurance. But hopefully, once the rest of the structure is gone, that piece of crony fascism would fall out of favor.
Also, if they only get one more year, I don’t see how health insurance companies have any incentive (i.e. any reason to believe they can stay in business) in offering back the cancelled plans.
But what is the point of only giving a year’s extension. Is the hope to keep going year by year? Or is the entire law so doomed that no one is really expecting the law to take effect? But even as a political statement, an unending freedom to purchase non-ACA-compliant plans would be preferable.