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

@MarcACaputo

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.

Comments

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Fred Jackson

Nice try. But this is just a 1 year thing. Come next year, the horror starts all over again. And by then the exchange prices will be even higher due to the lack of health people signing up.
A pig with lipstick is still a pig and the president's lies are still lies

Gideon P.T. Fensterbush

Is this reportage? Editorial? Humorist column?

FLMom

It's the Republican plan: You can keep your crappy insurance, we only care about Florida Blue keeping their premiums. What a country.

Destiny

So the insurance companies found a way to up their profits by canceling all the cheaper individual insurance policies on their books to force them over to the Affordable Care policies, where they could charge more and gain more fodder for Obama haters. Then the spin is it is the Affordable Care Act's fault that people are losing their insurance? What exactly was it in the Affordable Care Act that made the insurance companies cancel the polices? As far as I can see it was simple greed on the insurance companies that did it. Maybe Florida Blue is now nervous that Obama is going to focus on the issue and their greed will come to light.

Timmy Twotoes

There is no stopping the march toward single payer.

Just reading the comments above proves that ObamaCare apologists are already spinning this failure as the fault of the insurance companies, not the indisputable fact that the LAW requires them to cancel the policies.

But some people apparently refuse to accept that reality, or they nefariously have decided to ignore it and blame the insurance companies for their own political purposes.

When ObamaCare fails - and it will fail - the blame will not fall on Obama and the Democrats, it will be blamed on the "greedy insurance companies" And so, ObamaCare part 2 will be nothing but full-blown Government Run Health Care.

Mark my words.

FLMom

Tommy, please defend an industry that pays it's executives 25,000 A DAY, while canceling policies of the desperately ill. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Nataline_Sarkisyan Then google Wendell Potter, once a high paid CEO for this same company. Your defense would be reprehensible, as is anyone's who defends the continued subsidy of these monsters.

Tommy34684

FLMOM what is the cost per insured to pay FL Blue's executives $25,000 per day (per you that is)? A penny per policy? A dime per policy? A dollar per policy?

Ana Gomez-Mallada

A one-year reprieve from a train wreck? Really??

Saltwater Cowboy

Obama's resent decree sure looks, smells and tastes like something F. Castro would do. Wake up America - the trip to Cuba is a short one. Forget the fact that this concerns healthcare - it is Obama's actions that are scaring the crap out of me.

A Facebook User

The operative words in this op-ed piece are "After that we'll have to see." That one's easy.

This is going to be even worse a year from now when not enough healthy young people sign up and the insurance companies take the same actions.

It's what happens when they push through legislation without even a cursory examination of cause and effect. Read "Founding Brothers" by Joseph J. Ellis, p. 9: "...the original 'spirit of '76' was an instinctive aversion to coercive political power of any sort and a thoroughgoing dread of the inevitable corruptions that result when unseen rulers congregate in distant places."

Amen.

Lady Gator

Marc are you seriously inferring that a 1 year delay is somehow going to change the end game for these people? What you suggest is completely disingenuous.
Usually your reporting is more factual though liberally slanted.

These insurance policies at BCBS will be cancelled in ONE year, and the new OBAMACARE mandated policies WILL BE m-o-r-e expensive.

So much for the bald face lie in the name 'Affordable Care,' so much for the President's promise to Americans: '...if you like your insurance policy you can keep it, period.' so much for... 'if you like your doctor you can keep him/her.'


This is not a partisan issue anymore though not one Republican voted for Obamacare. This is a liberty issue for Americans, and the Democrats own this bill and the violation of our liberties and religious freedoms granted to us under the U.S. Constitution, the Dems will reap serious reprecussions for this at election time, additionally our rights were trampled via Obama's 'decrees' by passing Congress' authority legislatively, his acts are nothing less than a violation of the Separation of Powers; basic civics.

OBAMACARE = DISASTROUS TRAIN WRECK fiscally and politically.

Wait til '14 .... it will be the same as '94.

Seriousfun8309

One year from now, these renewed policies simply will still be #PPACA compliant.

Sorry, haters.

ed jenkins

As we have seen when we elect a man whose roots are in countries known for African dictators we end up with government corruption for the benefit of the political class and not the citizens. The country unfortunately was distracted by a hurricane in the northeast just as it was prepared to throw this man out of office last November and it forgot temporarily how much it and the state of Florida hated this anti-American medical insurance bill causing government to interfere with legal contracts between private parties.

FLMom

Ed, you old racist, even I recognize your talking points from an email that is going around. The ACA is law, it's not going away, and by the time 2016 rolls around the Republicans are going to regret their antics. A promise and a guarantee.

Lady Gator

FLMOm right, ACA is a law which was not read, passed on Christmas Eve at midnight (...for transparency right?) passed only by the Democrats in Congress. Since it passed, the President has amended it by decree for corporations not to comply until after'14, (ie for protection in the upcoming elections.) The only problem being the Executive ( Obama) has NO authority to do that willy-nilly.

Do you know anything about how laws are passed?

Additionally, Obama now in hot water with his disatrous rollout and unusable web site, cannot
just tell insurance companies to extend their policies for another year. Only Congress can do that by changing THE LAW. For the truth about that read this: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/364117/lawlessness-fix-andrew-c-mccarthy

tony smith

How is Medicaid -- which Scott endorses -- different from "socialized medicine"? Conservatives are such mind-numbed idiots.

Ziad Abdelnour

It is clear to me today that Americans want health care; but they don't particularly want health insurance.

Health insurance companies, however, convinced the government that they are instrumental to the delivery of health care, so the government is compelling people to buy that.

The Administration's argument is that too many people prefer to be "free riders" -- that is, they prefer not to pay for their own insurance while health care reaches an emergency status and is paid for in full by government services (such as emergency rooms)

james

First they said nobody lost care..
then they stuck foot in mouth.

then they said just 5%
now foot back in mouth.

Obama blamed insurance companies.
then put foot back in mouth and admitted the law forcing the cancellations.

They said it would lower costs.
insert foot here.

If everything you said two weeks ago was bogus.. and you learned about it.. said more BS.. then found out your full of it again.. lets keep trying. You keep getting busted.. and keep making up new talking points.. which will be busted again.. I hope this continues all year long.. Credibillity bye bye!

randomkeystrokes

Obama's "rule change" is a ham-handed and potentially illegal political move meant to appease the masses, not provide a solution. Regardless, the move makes the myriad criticisms of the PPACA no less credible. In fact the "death spiral" that will ensue should only bolster that case.

Before 2016 supporters will be begging for cover from the PPACA. Republicans would be fools to afford them any quarter. I've heard elections have consequences. As it turns out, so do terrible laws, no matter how well-intentioned they and their sycophantic supporters claim to be.

Garry Westlake

If all the countries citizens would put 65 per citizen in a bank. We ALL would have care. Garry from Florida.

Garry Westlake

I agree . 66 dollars per month per U.S citizen of the U.S. wold take care of all. All illegal immigrants will be in another category.

G Gordon

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.

Am I the only one that sees the hypocrisy "the fib", the man lied. What is so difficult to say the word. I'm sure you had no problem when it came to Bush during the Iraq war

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