President Barack Obama announced Thursday that health insurance polices that have been canceled because they don’t meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act can be kept for a year.
This reversal may be welcome to the sliver of the population affected – an estimated 4 million polices, according to the Association Press, but it may not be possible without additional legislation. Changing the rules at this point will affect many more people.
Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, explained the problem with trying to un-ring that bell. “Premiums have already been set for next year based on an assumption of when consumers will be transitioning to the new marketplace.” She said some new policies have already been issued incorporating requirements for a “broad range of benefits” — and allowing canceled policies to be extended for a year would “destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers.”
The suggestion of just scrapping the new law in its entirety would cause the same problems, only on a broader scale. Meanwhile, Americans would lose the benefits already gained through “ObamaCare.”
Better yet, the administration needs to fix the technical problems with its website for the public health exchanges, so that those who received cancellation notices can shop for new policies. They won’t have to reveal pre-existing conditions, so they may actually get a better deal.