…because now they’re being extended until October of 2016—that is, until further notice from our fearless leader, Barack Obama.
The audacious transparency of this move is almost breathtaking. Obama must truly think the American people are incredibly stupid and won’t catch on to what he’s doing. Maybe he’s even correct, although I think they’re catching on—much too slowly, but catching on.
But it’s becoming ludicrously apparent that every decision this administration makes is political, and that the Constitution means nothing to President Obama.
It’s crucial to grasp that last point, that extending un-canceled plans hurts ObamaCare financially. There’s no way that Obama would do this without a pressing political reason; just as Phil Klein says, the whole point of making insurers cancel plans in the first place was to force healthy middle-class suckers into more expensive “comprehensive” plans so that their premiums could be redistributed to people with preexisting conditions. Allowing those suckers to stay on their old, cheaper pre-ObamaCare plans means that insurers will have to rely on less revenue than they thought, which means Uncle Sam will be under even more pressure to use the “risk corridor” mechanism as a bailout mechanism to cover unanticipated losses. Healthy people will stick with their old plans, sick people will stick with their new ObamaCare plans (replete with guaranteed issue and community rating), and insurers will tear their hair out wondering how to pay for it without billions of dollars from HHS to help. Quite simply, Obama was forced to choose between doing something that would help his party at the ballot box but hurt his signature health-care law and doing something that would help stabilize the law financially at the risk of generating a nasty backlash to his party from consumers with cancellations. He made the political choice. Which is exactly what O’s critics feared would happen as government insinuated itself further into the health-care industry via O-Care. Decisions on health-care policy are now a species of politics. You’re welcome, America.
Allahpundit also asserts—and I agree with him—that before October of 2016, Obama will just extend the deadline again, past the election in November.
However, I do have one correction to what Allahpundit said: I’m not sure that the new delay in the cancellations of the old policies will have quite as disastrous an effect on the Obamacare exchanges as he seems to think it will, because there are certainly some sick people who will choose to remain on their original un-canceled plans, if they think those plans are better than what they could get through Obamacare. Nevertheless, I believe he is correct in saying that the exchanges will probably be composed of a significantly higher percentage of sick people than was originally projected, because some sick people previously without health insurance (or those with grandfathered plans who will now get a nice fat subsidy on the exchanges and are therefore willing to voluntarily give up their old plans) will sign up on the exchanges.