Here’s one from the “you can’t make this up” files:
The Department of Health and Human Services is in the spotlight for claims it is violating the Affordable Care Act.
The lawsuit was filed by Mehri & Skalet attorney Jay Angoff, who used to oversee ACA implementation for HHS. Filed on behalf of a Missouri consumer advocacy group, the suit claims the federal agency is not following through on its obligation to make rate filings for 2015 publicly available in time for the public to comment on them.
Get it? Mr Angoff “used to oversee ACA implementation for HHS.” He used to run Obamacare. Now, he’s running against it. Here’s why:
There is a tension in the Obamacare coalition. Open enrollment begins on November 15, a week and a half after the election. The current story on premiums for benchmark Obamacare plans in 2015 is that they will go down by just under one percent. This comes from a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of cities in only fifteen states.
Notwithstanding serious criticism of this claim, the media have swallowed and recycled it. For obvious political reasons, it is necessary for the Administration that no further announcements of premiums for the rest of the states disturb this comfortable narrative.
On the other hand, lawyers like Mr. Angoff are eager to see rate hikes in the double digits. Obamacare has funded states to empower their insurance commissioners to roll back premiums on political grounds. Lawyers like Mr. Angoff look forward to a tidy business representing exploited consumers in such states.
I agree that all Obamacare premiums for 2015 should be announced before the November 4 election, so that voters have the freshest information about Obamacare’s consequences. Whether Mr. Angoff’s lawsuit will have an effect in so short a time, we will have wait and see.