CBS: Obama’s Suggested ‘Fix’ Could Destabilize Market, Increase Premiums

Insurance companies, state commissioners skeptical of president's idea

• November 14, 2013 7:55 pm


CBS Evening News reported Thursday that President Obama's suggested "fix" for Americans losing health insurance due to Obamacare regulations might make things worse, possibly destabilizing the market and increasing premiums.

The Weekly Standard reported the Obama administration will not enforce the penalty on individuals for not having eligible health insurance plans and they'll allow the insurance companies to still sell so-called bad plans — plans they technically can't sell under Obamacare.

However, the president cannot order insurance companies to restore these cancelled plans, and their response Thursday has been one of skepticism, CBS anchor Scott Pelley said.

State insurance commissioners also expressed doubts. Correspondent Carter Evans reported that CBS called half a dozen insurance companies, including Aetna and BlueCross, and they said they didn't know how they could implement the president's suggested fix to the problem or if they even could.

Natalie Willes, whose basic but inexpensive insurance plan was one of the millions dropped after Obamacare's implementation, tried to get reinsured but, as was shown on camera, she was told to try back in a week because the details had not been worked out.

I don't want to believe the worst-case scenarios about the Affordable Care Act. But when things like this keep happening, it makes it really difficult for me to be confident that things will not continue to get worse."

Also, Evans reported, reinstating those dropped policies will be more than a headache. Insurance companies will have to contact policy holders, explain coverage options, get state regulators to approve new premiums and then process those policies. Also, a one-year extension could keep the young and healthy out of Obamacare, and those missing premiums won't be there to pay for patients with expensive health issues.

"I really don't think I"ll be able to get it back," Willes said.

CBS also reported Washington state insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler, a former Democratic member of Congress, said he will not go along with the president's decision.

Published under: CBS, Obamacare