8/28/2013

Obama administration unilaterally delays another part of Obamacare law

Yet more evidence that the law doesn't matter to the Obama administration.  From Reuters:
The Obama administration has delayed a step crucial to the launch of the new healthcare law, the signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges starting October 1.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources.
Nevertheless, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for HHS, said the department remains "on track to open" the marketplaces on time on October 1.
The reason for the hold-up was unclear. Sources attributed it to technology problems involving the display of insurance products within the federal information technology system. . . .
And the implications:
But the October 1 deadline has already begun to falter at the state level, with Oregon announcing plans to scale back the launch of its own marketplace and California saying it would consider a similar move.
Tuesday's notification by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the HHS agency spearheading marketplace development, affects insurance plans that would be sold in federal exchanges that the administration is setting up in 34 of the 50 U.S. states. The remaining 16 states, including Oregon and California, are setting up their own marketplaces.
"It makes me wonder if open enrollment can start on October 1," said a former administration official who worked to implement Obama's healthcare reform. . . . 
Fox News has a story on the delay available here.

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