President Barack Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services quietly announced a change to the healthcare law late last week to limit damning headlines stemming from Obamacare insurance cancellations. The change comes not a moment too soon for Democratic candidates slated to get pulverized in 2014 because of the American public’s Obamacare-induced headaches.
A draft regulation released by HHS reads: “We propose that a modification made solely pursuant to applicable Federal or State law would be considered a modification of coverage rather than a product withdrawal. These modifications could include changes required to comply with Affordable Care Act standards (such as elimination of a prohibited annual limit) and changes permitted based on updated standards (such as increasing an annual limitation on cost sharing based on the annual increase in the limit permitted as a result of the application of the premium adjustment percentage).”
When Obamacare became law, previously held insurance plans were, on paper, supposed to be “grandfathered” into the new system, hence all of the “keep your plan” talk.
If Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and company had not needed to pass Obamacare to learn what was in it, however, Americans (including Democratic politicians who are now realizing the folly of their blind faith in Obama’s promises) would have known that onerous HHS mandates would eventually do away with many of the no-longer-sufficient grandfathered plans.
The Washington Examiner’s Phillip Klein pointed this out last year as story after story of average Americans losing their existing plans began to cause a problem for Democrats.
“Once a plan loses grandfathered status, it is subject to all of the other regulations within Obamacare, which is why so many Americans are losing their current coverage,” he wrote.
The proposal is predicted to provide the illusion that those Americans who haven’t already lost plans that they liked are representative of the fulfillment of Obama’s “if you like your plan, you can keep it” promise — though the “liked” plan is still subject to modification.
“We believe these proposed standards will minimize unnecessary terminations of coverage, ensuring predictability and continuity for consumers, while reasonably providing issuers the flexibility to make necessary adjustments to coverage,” the Administration said in its proposal.