Will the Two-Year Delay Cause the Exchanges to Implode?

Philip Klein reports:

With the Department of Health and Human Services announcing that plans that were supposed to be cancelled this year can now be renewed for another two years, “the health insurance plans participating in ObamaCare are a very worried group right now,” according to health insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski.

Because he’s in close touch with insurance industry executives, Laszewski became a widely-cited figure during the botched rollout of President Obama’s health care law, and now he says insurers who agreed to take part in the law are coming up against a key concern: “The fundamental problem here is that the administration is just not signing up enough people to make anyone confident this program is sustainable.”

But in a private email response, Doug Badger says:

Not sure that worry is justified. Roughly half of state insurance commissioners last year refused to let insurers renew non-grandfathered policies. Even in states where renewals were permitted, some insurers declined to renew the coverage. Going forward, one might expect additional insurance commissioners to balk at renewals and insurers not to renew coverage if it is not in their financial interests to do so.

As to the perils of an adverse risk pool, bear in mind that corporate welfare payments to insurers that sell through the exchanges will total nearly $15.5 billion, rivaling the $16 billion in premium and cost-sharing subsidies to individuals.

Comments (14)

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  1. Perry says:

    My question is, if the law’s such a great solution to the problem of health care, why keep delaying its key provisions?

    • James M. says:

      Exactly. What is the worry about? I thought they have the “be-all end-all” solution. Looks like they are backtracking just a bit.

      • Andrea P says:

        Obama and other democrats know they have messed everything up. They know they made a mistake, but they have dug so deep there is no other way to go but to keep digging. They are delaying these mandates so that they have a majority or a competitive minority in congress, so that they can have a say in the next legislature, which will determine the fate of Obamacare.

    • Martin A says:

      Maybe because it is not the great solution and because the elections are several months away. The democrats don’t have an assured reelection thus they are trying to appeal to the undecided voters which are going to determine the winner of the upcoming elections.

  2. Matthew says:

    I would be worried too. The government keeps going back on its deadlines to implement ObamaCare. Is almost as if they are trying to delay the inevitable from happening.

  3. Thomas says:

    “The fundamental problem here is that the administration is just not signing up enough people to make anyone confident this program is sustainable.”

    So was this why Obama went on a comedian’s YouTube show to promote Obamacare? As a last ditch effort to get young people to sign up?

  4. Marc C says:

    Obamacare won’t implode due to these delays; the adverse effects are just being delayed. The program won’t fail per-say, but it will lose its supporters once the magnitude of the repercussions is felt by the people. If the architects of this project weren’t concerned about the negative effects, they wouldn’t have delayed implementation of the mandates on the first place, they are only doing it to help them in the upcoming elections.

  5. Thomas E says:

    It is a never ending cycle, not enough people are enrolling thus people are not confident about the program. Because people are not confident about the program, they are not enrolling. Without the people’s trust it will be hard for the program to be sustainable.

    • Martin A says:

      To make things even worse, the delays are making the people less confident about the reform, and most are waiting to see what happens. I don’t think that Obama’s delays will implode Obamacare, but those delays will be the program’s doom.

  6. Legutus says:

    Probably not. People has become insensitive about such inefficiency.

    • Pier L says:

      I don’t think so. I believe the opposite. We are in a time in which information flows easily through people. We have seen unprecedented movements with enough leverage to oust corrupt and totalitarian regimes. I don’t think that people will remain silent about this program; their nonconformity will be translated in the ballots.