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New Obamacare Delay Creates Even More Uncertainty in 2014


Yet another crucial provision of the Affordable Care Act will be delayed. After giving employers an additional year to comply with the employer mandate, the Obama administration has now announced that insurers will have until 2015 to conform to the cap on annual consumer costs. NYT:

The limit on out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and co-payments, was not supposed to exceed $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family. But under a little-noticed ruling, federal officials have granted a one-year grace period to some insurers, allowing them to set higher limits, or no limit at all on some costs, in 2014.

It’s important not to make too much of ACA road bumps like this one. Resist the temptation to join implacable Obamacare opponents who will claim this as more evidence that the ACA is the worst law ever passed. That’s clearly an exaggeration, and one that could backfire.

Nevertheless, this news shows that the implementation challenges aren’t going away anytime soon. On the contrary, they are only piling up as time passes. That’s a serious fact ACA supporters will have to grapple with. Even more importantly, both the mandate and the cap delay—along with whatever other delays we may see in the coming weeks—mean that only some parts of Obamacare will be going into effect this fall. People will be shopping on the exchanges without the full law in place.

How exactly this will affect public perception of the law isn’t clear yet, but it could wind up creating unexpected incentives and consequences that will bedevil the law throughout next year.

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  • Corlyss

    You guys need to get on the ball and start covering the recent Democratic inadvertent truth-telling concerning their plans to destroy the private health insurance business in order to leave the government as the last and only payer on the field. Just because the MSM is ignoring the remarks doesn’t mean you should follow suit.

    • bpuharic

      What’s wrong with single payer? Other countries have it and it works fine. Only America seems to think reinventing the wheel was a good idea on this issue.

      • Jim__L

        We’ll repeal ObamaCare.

        Then you and your fellow policy wanks can fix Medicare and Medicaid.

        Until you can turn those into shining examples of fiscal success, don’t even talk to us about how wonderful your single-payer fantasies would be.

        • bpuharic

          The right wing’s plan to balance healthcare costs on the backs of the poor and middle class is already a failure

          We could do no worse.

  • Robby Cunningham

    “the ACA is the worst law ever passed. That’s clearly an exaggeration”

    I think that in the next 12 months WRM is going to be backing off that statement.

  • Ruth Murray

    If the ACA isn’t the worst law ever passed, I may ask what VM thinks is?

    • Tom

      My vote would be the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

    • Jim__L

      The Smoot-Hawley tariff?
      The Nuremburg laws?

      It would be useful to split them up into some categories — worst human rights violations, worst unintended consequences, etc.

  • phineasfahrquar

    “Resist the temptation to join implacable Obamacare opponents who will claim this as more evidence that the ACA is the worst law ever passed.”

    Well, I suppose it’s not as bad as the Japanese internment order from WW2, but it’s pretty god-awful.

    • Jim__L

      To be a worse policy than “Cash for Clunkers”, which actively destroyed wealth and hurt poor peoples’ employment prospects by driving the price of used cars through the roof, is certainly a challenge.

      I am confident ObamaCare will rise to the challenge.

      To be blunt, ObamaCare needs to be repealed, and Leftists need to fix Medicare / Medicaid to make them fiscally sustainable (if they’re even capable of such a thing) before the federal gov’t makes any more forays into the medical sector.

      • bpuharic

        And the private sector has risen to the challenge of protecting the middle class, hasn’t it?

        The right has never had a plan for healthcare beyond letting natural selection cull the herd.

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