Insurance Assn. Head: Obamacare Fix 'Slick Political Maneuver'

Friday, 15 Nov 2013 12:03 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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President Barack Obama's "fix" to Obamacare problems is a "slick political maneuver" to make insurance companies the "bad guy," Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, said Friday.

"Obama can say, 'I didn't want these policies canceled,'" Laszewski told "Fox & Friends." "This is not about what's operationally possible. This is about politics.

"No one asked the industry if this was possible. The industry was shocked yesterday to hear this," Laszewski added.

Under pressure from Democrats, Obama Thursday authorized insurance companies to continue offering individual private insurance policies for one year. Millions of people were to lose their health insurance because it fell below Obamacare's minimum standards.

Laszewski listed the logistical problems in doing what Obama announced. Time is short, he emphasized, for companies to comply by Jan. 1.

"What they're saying to the insurance companies is, in 31 days, backtrack on all the months of planning they've done. This is an incredible logistical problem for the insurance companies."

"They have to send a letter, according to the Obama administration, to every one of these policy holders. They've got to detail the difference between the plan they have now and what Obamacare would require.

"So they've got to look at each individual plan and send a very detailed letter. They send it through the U.S. Mail.

"Then they've got to give the consumer at least a couple of weeks to make up their mind, to get back to the insurance company.

"The insurance company has to change their computer system, their rates, their plan policy, change the doctor and hospital network computer system, make sure they don't debit the bank account the wrong way.

"And do all this in 31 days when this administration can't get a simple website going in three years," Laszewski said.

"They're making another mess — one mess after another with the implementation of Obamacare," he added.

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