More Trouble With Obamacare, Another CNN Blackout

[UPDATED BELOW] CNN has yet to report another significant setback to Obamacare. The limits on out-of-pocket healthcare spending have been delayed a year but CNN has not mentioned the news.

As the New York Times reported, "under a little-noticed federal ruling, federal officials have granted a one-year grace period to some insurers" before a "limit on out-of-pocket costs" kicks in. The result could be that insurers "set higher limits, or no limit at all on some costs, in 2014."

Forbes contributor Avik Roy wrote that "According to the law, the limits on out-of-pocket costs for 2014 were $6,350 for individual policies and $12,700 for family ones. But in February, the Department of Labor published a little-noticed rule delaying the cap until 2015."

CNN did air a question about Obamacare on Friday – from Fox News' Ed Henry during CNN's live broadcast of President Obama's press conference. Henry's question was about another one-year delay, of Obamacare's employer mandate:

"October 1st you've got to implement your signature health care law. You recently decided on your own to delay a key part of that, and I wonder, if you pick and choose what parts of the law to implement, couldn't your successor down the road pick and choose whether they'll implement your law and keep it in place?"

On Friday, NewsBusters reported that CNN was silent on possible security risks to Obamacare's privacy protection system. The network still hasn't reported that the security system is months behind schedule as the October 1 opening date looms large. Now, after the employer mandates were delayed one year, another part of the law has been pushed back.

However, CNN said nothing over the weekend about either the delay of the cost limits or the security system for Obamacare's privacy protection being behind schedule.

[UPDATE: 8/15/13 3:29 p.m. ET] On the August 14 edition of The Situation Room, CNN finally reported the delay on Obamacare's out-of-pocket cost caps. Host Wolf Blitzer said the law "seems to be as troubled as it is controversial" and correspondent Dan Lothian aired the report on "Yet another delay in the roll-out." A partial transcript is below:

[5:31 p.m. EDT]

WOLF BLITZER: It's the law of the land, and it increasingly seems to be as troubled as it is controversial. We're talking about Obamacare. Implementation of one part of the law has now been delayed by the President, and it's not such a first initial glitch.


DAN LOTHIAN, CNN White House correspondent: When President Obama was selling health care reform, part of the pitch included this promise.

BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States: We'll place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses.

LOTHIAN: But when this requirement takes effect next year, the cap for some will be nearly twice as high as originally planned. Yet another delay in the roll-out. That hitch discovered this week buried in bureaucratic language on the Labor Department's web site. All individual out-of-pocket costs were supposed to be capped at $6,350 by next year. A big benefit for consumers. But now, certain individuals will face two caps that combined total more than $12,000.


LOTHIAN: Last month, the White House gave large employers an extra year to offer health insurance to full-time employees. A few days later, the bar for the government to verify consumers' salary and insurance status was lowered. And in April another one-year delay to offer employees of small businesses more insurance options.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014