If you're looking for proof that the MSNBC is in the tank for the Democrats and ObamaCare, you need go no further than to read an article posted on Wednesday by reporter Geoffrey Cowley that states insurance companies can “keep offering substandard individual health plans through 2016.”
By extending the time to apply for the Affordable Care Act by two more years, the administration has “extended the treaty it reached last fall with the half-million consumers who were set to lose their low-cost, low-value insurance plans," Cowley insisted.
Referring to the legislation as a “treaty” under the headline “Obama Gives Substandard Health Plans Another Reprieve” was only the start of the obvious liberal bias that ran throughout this reporter's “news” article.
Cowley admitted that the change has a definite political element.
“Without the extension, many of the cancellations [Obama] managed to postpone last fall would have set in just before this year’s midterm elections” and last through the 2016 presidential contest:
“I don’t see how [the White House] could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” an industry source told The Hill. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House.”
In a Wednesday conference call with reporters, administration officials denied that the extension was a political gesture. “As we looked at the experience this year with the transitional policy, we determined that the number of people in transitional plans was falling rapidly,” one official said.
“But a number of people are still enrolled [in the old plans],” that official continued. “We wanted to give them the option of continuing the coverage they had while requiring that issuers notify them of the marketplace option.”
After promoting how the new law “identifies 10 essential health benefits -- ranging from maternity care to lab tests and prescription drugs -- that all plans had to cover as of January 1, 2014,” Cowley noted that “[p]olicies sold on the individual market before March 23, 2010, were exempt” from the new standards.
“When consumers with non-grandfathered plans started getting cancellations notices last fall, many were outraged,”::
Most would have found better coverage at better rates through the new health insurance exchanges, but those who liked their low-value plans accused the president of lying to them, and their grievances sparked an insurrection in Congress.
Under pressure from fellow Democrats, the president quickly exempted the old health plans from the new law. Through an administrative rule, he allowed insurers to renew substandard policies (but not sell new ones) if state regulators would allow it. The loophole was set to expire in a year unless the administration decided to extend it.
“Wednesday’s new rule does just that,” Cowley observed.. The Health and Human Services Department “extended this transition policy, … giving states and issuers the option of allowing consumers to renew 2013 plans for two more years, but only to people who already had them when the health-care law took full effect this year.”
However, the exemption “contradicts the whole spirit of the health-care law,” he declared, “and it was never popular with insurers or state regulators.”
“Insurers were ill-prepared to revive the expiring plans when the president handed them his problem last fall,” Cowley continued. “And half of the nation’s insurance commissioners refused to reauthorize the old plans, fearing they would undermine the new health insurance exchanges.”
But the reporter did his best to comfort those who have already signed up for ObamaCare:
The junk plans will die off over time. Meanwhile, the administration is adjusting other policies to make sure the health insurance exchanges don’t suffer as potential customers opt for lesser coverage.
If all goes as planned, the “keep your plan” debacle won’t even resurface as a political issue this fall. Unfortunately, it’s still dictating health-care policy.
Unfortunately for Cowley and the Democrats running for office this year, very little has gone “as planned” ever since the Affordable Care Act was passed in March of 2010, when Democrats controlled the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House.
As if that's not enough, the website rollout was a disaster that is still being fixed even though Harry Reid, majority leader of the U.S. Senate, has called “horror stories” of people losing some or all of their health care as “lies.”
Apparently, Cowley and others at the Lean Forward network hope that voters have short memories and will forget all about the harm ObamaCare has inflicted when they go to the polls for the midterm election in November.