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Sorry, Obamacare haters: 300k FL Blue customers no longer 'losing' insurance policies for 2014


Obamacare haters should have taken an insurance policy out on their criticisms.

They'd be rich now that the president has helped stop the public-relations damage that stemmed from millions of health insurance-company cancellation notices sent to people in the individual-market since Oct. 1, when the Affordable Care Act started to kick in. The grace period: about a year. After that, we'll have to see.

In Florida, Florida Blue sent out about 300,000 such notices (with more now in the mail). And it quickly became a rallying cry for Florida Republicans like Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott:

“The President’s healthcare law is causing hundreds of thousands of Floridians to lose their health insurance plans. The White House should focus on helping these families, not Medicaid, which our state just recently reformed to be more flexible, accessible and cost-conscious,” Scott said in a recent statement. “Unfortunately, the White House’s politics of deflection and distraction won’t give anyone their healthcare back, even after the president promised that if they liked their plans, they could keep them.”

Well, the president might have listened. Or Florida Blue did.

According to the state's insurance commissioner, the insurance company is holding off on the cancellations. It should be noted as well that these cancellations did not mean people were going with or went without coverage. They were being shifted over into Affordable Care Act-compliant (that is, richer and, in some cases, more expensive plans).

Here's FL Health Watch:

"On the heels of the President's announcement, Florida Blue agreed to allow individual members to continue their existing health care coverage or explore new plan options under the ACA.  Those who previously received cancellation letters from the insurer will get new ones offering them the option to remain on their existing plan through 2014 if they choose.  

"The company said it will continue to offer guidance to its customers related to their healthcare options. The member contact number is 1-800-FLA-BLUE (1-800-352-2583).

"So now that the president has decided to, as Scott said, "focus" on these families, will Scott focus on the 848,000 Floridians who are eligible for Medicaid under Obamacare -- but only if the state agreed to expand the program?"

Of course, none of this means Obamacare criticisms are over. The disaster of a rollout with the feckless website, anemic enrollment figures and the fib that people who liked their plans could keep them will haunt the president and the program.

Also, there's the fact that in basically calling for a one-year delay in Obamacare, the president appears to be legislating from the executive branch. And that can have spooky consequences. Here's the conservative Townhall on that.