Archive for Friday, March 7, 2014

Insurance department allows insurers to extend health plans that aren’t compliant with ACA

March 7, 2014


The Kansas Insurance Department has given the OK to insurers in the state that they can continue to renew health insurance policies that don't meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act a day after President Obama extended the deadline until October 2016.

As of Jan. 1, many insurance policies no longer met the law's criteria of providing a certain base level of benefits, causing them to be canceled. After many Americans complained, the Obama administration in November pushed back the deadline until October 2014. He added another two years this week.

“We still have concerns about the delay and the potential long-term effects on the health insurance market, but the department will give our companies and consumers the flexibility to work through the ACA changes," Kansas insurance commissioner Sandy Praeger said in a statement Thursday announcing the decision. “Earlier, the department and the companies believed it was in the best interest to phase out noncompliant ACA plans at the end of 2014, but with the new announcement we acknowledge the administration’s decision and will comply with the flexibility provided under the extension.”

Under the policy, insurers will be able to renew certain "non-grandfathered" plans — those with substandard benefits issued between March 23, 2010, and Jan. 1, 2014 — through Oct. 1, 2016.


Scott Burkhart 1 year ago

“Earlier, the department and the companies believed it was in the best interest to phase out noncompliant ACA plans at the end of 2014, but with the new announcement we acknowledge the administration’s decision and will comply with the flexibility provided under the extension.”

So what changed? Why was it in the best interest to phase out the noncompliant plans earlier but now a delay is ok? Where in the Constitution does it give the President the power to change a law to his liking? Requirements and dates were clearly enumerated in the ACA (Obamacare) and upheld as "Constitutional" by the U.S. Supreme Court. The President cannot, unilaterally, change a law like that. Especially for political expediency. This is the most despotic President in the country's history. Not to mention the most inept.

Bob Smith 1 year ago

Looks like Congress has forgotten it has the power of impeachment.

James Howlette 1 year ago

Seeing as how much the tea drinkers chatter about it, I doubt it. I suspect the real answer is that they just haven't found anything impeachable. This is not an exception.

Amy Varoli Elliott 1 year ago

Executive orders are as old as the U.S. Constitution itself and usually steeped in controversy.

Every president, from George Washington to Obama, has used them. More than 13,000, in one form or another, have been issued since 1789.

While there is no specific provision in the Constitution that permits them, there is a "grant of executive power" given in Article II of the Constitution,

Presidents have used that language, along with their constitutional powers as commander and chief over the nation's military, to issue executive orders—whether it be to change domestic policy or go to war. And they are legally binding—the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld all but two legal challenges to them (see more on that below).

So Obama has used less than all other presidents since FDR, where you upset at all other presidents for doing it, or has fox news just gotten you all hyped up

Leslie Swearingen 1 year ago

Thank you Amy, I too did some research and found out what you did and I tell you I was surprised.

To those who would like to see President Obama impeached, please give some details of what you think the grounds for his impeachment are.

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.


Bob Smith 1 year ago

"...So Obama has used fewer..." Fixed it for you.

James Howlette 1 year ago

I think "less than half of the executive orders of Saint Reagan" also has a nice ring to it.

Fred Mertz 1 year ago

Executive orders have been used before. That is a fact and there is nothing wrong with it, but the issue isn't the number issued but the orders themselves.

Executive orders used appropriately assist in carrying out existing law. It is inappropriate to use them to create new law or to modify existing law.

The ACA is very clear about the employer mandate and when it starts. Delaying it by EO is modifying existing law. Congress alone has the power to pass legislation. The executive branch is only authorized to carry it out, ergo modifying law by EO is unconstitutional and should be opposed by all.

Andrew Dufour 1 year ago

Can you cite to a reputable source that backs up your claim that Obama's EO are different from Bush FDR etc. You may feel in your gut that no other president has modified statutory law by EO or regulation but I'd love to see this documented.

Fred Mertz 1 year ago

Andrew where did I say that Bush or any other president didn't do what Obama has done? I haven't.

I am not aware of Bush doing anything similar but I don't know. All I can say is I would be opposed to Bush doing it and it doesn't make any difference if someone else did it. Please stop blaming Bush. He isn't president anymore. I was very critical of Bush' policies, but he is gone.

Obama is president and he must man up for his actions.

Do you think a president should be able to create new law through EO?

Amy Varoli Elliott 1 year ago

The right thing to do would be for congress to make them illegal, but they would have to also agree they were bad and work together as a single unit to do so, so that will never happen. But just to give you an idea of some far worse then needlessly changing the date of the ACA mandate here are a few

Some of the more famous and contentious examples of executive orders include:

President Abraham Lincoln's suspension of the writ of habeus corpus and the Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War.

President Franklin Roosevelt—who holds the record for most executive orders—issued one in 1942 that led to Japanese-Americans internment camps during World War II.

President Harry Truman integrated the armed forces under an executive order in 1948.

President Dwight Eisenhower issued an executive order in 1957 dispatching federal troops to Little Rock, Ark., where crowds had prevented the desegregation of all-white Central High School.

Both President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson used executive orders in the 1960s to bar racial discrimination in federal housing, hiring and contracting.

President Ronald Reagan used an executive order in 1984 to bar the use of federal funds for advocating abortion. President Bill Clinton reversed it when he took office in 1993.

Clinton used a series of executive orders to allow U.S. military forces to fight in the Balkans in the 1990s.

President George W. Bush issued an executive order in 2001 that restricted public access to the papers of former presidents. Obama revoked it in 2009.

Fred Mertz 1 year ago

Amy, nice post. Appreciate you taking the time to share the information.

Andrew Dufour 1 year ago

Brock I wasn't blaming bush for anything that wasn't my point. My point was that your comment is a common complaint that GOP officials are making right now when confronted with the numbers. I apologize for putting words in your mouth I was arguing the meta argument rather than your particular post. My only point is that the critiques of what Obama is doing coming from the GOP is a little disingenuous because it's common for the EO's to be pretty far reaching.

Fred Mertz 1 year ago

Andrew, this we can agree on. Criticism must be consistent otherwise it is hypocritical.and rings hollow.

BTW, I do not support the GOP, nationally or on the state level. They are very hypocritical in many of their policy positions.

Bob Smith 1 year ago

Remember when changes were proposed in the timing of the ACA and all the usual suspects were bleating that it was THE LAW OF THE LAND (sorry,but that really called for all caps) and couldn't be changed? Remember when the usual suspects were bleating that all of the policies being cancelled by the ACA were evil, wicked, mean and nasty Potemkin Policies and were a blight on humanity, except now those same policies are okay for a couple of more years? Some people have the memory of a Mayfly.

Andrew Dufour 1 year ago

As do many of the GOP who criticized Obama for his "if you like it you can keep it" that are not criticizing him allowing those same people to keep their policies.

Bob Smith 1 year ago

The White House's only reason for delaying the mandate is to minimize the pain to Democrats running for re-election. That doesn't get any cheers from me.

James Howlette 1 year ago

Of course not. Obama can't do anything right in your books, so you're just making excuses as to why he did something you liked but for the wrong reasons.

James Howlette 1 year ago

I don't think anyone said that it couldn't be changed but that it shouldn't be repealed or defunded. Honestly, I think the crappy plans should go, and this delay would only have made sense if we hadn't delayed implementation for four years already. But that doesn't put me in camp "defund and repeal."

Lee Saylor 1 year ago

I compared my 'legacy' policy with the ones offered on the exchange (after it was cancelled and before it was reinstated). I have better coverage for less money with my 'legacy' policy. I'm keeping the legacy.

Andrew Dufour 1 year ago

what's your criteria for "better coverage?" I'm curious because the benefits in the new policy should be more expansive. If you're only looking at deductibles and co-insurance and things like that then I can see your argument.

James Howlette 1 year ago

A lot of people ignore the lifetime limits and yearly caps, too. Those usually don't come into play, but when they do, it's at the worst possible time.

Richard Heckler 1 year ago

I am PO'd that Obama has not used his executive privilege to put people back to work on the government payroll. After all it has been the rule of government that has played a large role in the unemployment of America through tax codes as one tool.

Then we have the Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney home loan frauds that have effectively screwed the economy and produced millions of job losses under both administrations.

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many billions and millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance.

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern.

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT – Bailing Out Big banks. Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money?

--- Then the GOP congress members decided not to work with a democrat to get the economy up and running.

--- And the US Chamber of Commerce laundered $1.4 million health care $$$$$ a day to keep Medicare Single Payer off the table no matter that it is the best solution across the board. Former aides and elected officials spending $1.4 million a day to support the most expensive medical insurance in the world.

Richard Heckler 1 year ago

--- Then the GOP congress members decided not to work with a democrat to get the economy up and running. So how many millions STILL cannot afford medical insurance.

Richard Heckler 1 year ago

My guess is most will still be underinsured ….. why?

Bob Smith 1 year ago

"Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry; by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety…"–compulsive_disorder

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