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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

President Obama Makes Another ACA Change

Healthcare, Economy, Political, Quality of Life, U.S.

The President redesigning his signature health care bill, using self-declared legal permission to override Congress where laws are usually created, has become a regular occurrence.

The most recent occurrence saw him declaring that health plans that were about to be officially illegal under his law, because they were basically evil money-making machines for insurance companies, were now to be legal through October, 2017.  Never mind that these policies may not follow the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules and requirements for minimum essential coverage, rate making and so on.

Next up is the implementation of the fine ($95 the first year and then increasing as a percentage of income) for people who have not purchased approved insurance policies.  The last day of open enrollment to obtain one of those policies, already extended once, is set for March 31st.  That date could, of course, be moved even further out into 2014 or beyond.  When one person has taken over the creation of new laws and the changing of existing laws, anything is possible.  All reports indicate that the enrollment numbers are way, way short of what had been desired which suggests there may be a real adverse selection problem since those with greatest need of coverage were likely to enroll first.

While his opponents speechify daily about how they’re going to repeal this law, the President is doing more to change this law on his own than all of Congress has managed to this point.  Maybe Congress should just get out of the President’s way and let him do the heavy-lifting.

Before going further, everyone should get off the “repeal” bandwagon because it isn’t likely ever going to make its way out of the shed.  So much has already been done to the previous system that total repeal is virtually impossible even if the votes were there.  The “repealers” are using this as their key to re-election without regard to reality.  If it makes a great sound bite, too many politicians use it no matter that total repeal is not going to happen.

A revision bill, rather than a total repeal, is another thing entirely.  If a bill that revised ObamaCare, the ACA, were to be brought before the next Congress that probably will skew more heavily to conservatives and Republicans, I suspect that bill would have great appeal.  I have to believe that even the San Francisco poster child for ObamaCare, who told us it had to be passed in order to learn what was in it, would be hard-pressed not to vote for revising what is very apparently a terribly flawed piece of legislation.

The President, every time he changes an existing law passed by Congress, makes it more and more difficult for those who supported this abomination, and places another paving stone in the pathway for those trying to make this better for the nation rather than futilely jousting at their repeal windmills.  We waste valuable political currency and time pursuing something that is almost totally unlikely to happen.  This may be an ugly law, but a well-reasoned makeover could help a lot.

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