Another Obamacare Delay in the Works

Marguerite Bowling /

Pete Souza

Pete Souza

The Obama administration is expected to soon announce another major delay in Obamacare, according to a recent article in The Hill.

The announcement, which could come this week, would allow health insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet minimum coverage requirements in the President’s signature health care law. The Washington Post, citing undisclosed insurance industry sources, projected the extension could last one to three years longer.

Millions of Americans lost their individual insurance coverage last year because their health plans didn’t meet requirements in Obamacare. The widespread cancellations—coupled with the Obama administration’s repeated assurances that Americans would be able to keep their current plans—led to public backlash. gave President Obama its “Lie of the Year” award for his infamous Obamacare claim, “if you like your plan you can keep it.”

In response, Obama allowed insurers and states a one-year moratorium of the requirement on individual plans. While some states decided to continue on with full implementation of Obamacare, other states agreed to the initial delay.

Now with the moratorium set to end in 2015, The Hill notes that insurers would send out cancellation notices just before the 2014 mid-term elections. That could put 1.5 million more health plans in crossfire this year if the White House doesn’t act.

As a result of the government’s unilateral and last-minute decision to extend non-compliant plans, an estimated 1.5 million health plans continued to exist in the individual and small group markets this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s annual Budget and Economic Outlook.

“It’s unclear how many of the 1.5 million would be affected,” said Ed Haislmaier, a senior health fellow at The Heritage Foundation. “That said, the CBO estimate is about 20 percent to 25 percent of the estimated 5 million to 7 million discontinued policies.”

While the Obama administration mulls this potential extension after already extending the employer mandate for certain businesses, the White House said in a statement yesterday Obama would veto a House bill that would delay the individual mandate for another year, according to The Washington Times.

The House is set to vote this week on the Simple Fairness Act, which lets Americans be uninsured in 2014 without facing the tax penalty—or “shared responsibility payment” as termed by the Internal Revenue Service—that is required under Obamacare.

This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.