AFP's Phillips: WH Playing Politics by 'Tweaking' Obamacare Rules

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 05:39 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Americans for Prosperity on Tuesday slammed the latest Obamacare delay, charging President Barack Obama and the Democrats with "tweaking definitions to give themselves political cover in an election year."

"It's disappointing that the Obama administration continues to respond to shifting political winds, rather than to the millions of Americans who are being hurt by Obamacare," said Tim Phillips, AFP's president.

Based in Arlington, Va., AFP was co-founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

"President Obama and other Democrats across the country, who assured individuals and families they could keep their existing healthcare plans under Obamacare, broke their promise," Phillips said in a statement. "Now, millions of Americans are suffering, receiving insurance cancellation notices, and dealing with unwarranted confusion and chaos."

The White House quietly announced that it was delaying through October 2016 the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate for millions of Americans who have lost their healthcare coverage.

The latest change was buried in an announcement that Americans would be able to keep health plans that do not meet Obamacare standards for another two years, according to news reports.

The announcement, published in March by the Department of Health and Human Services, received little news coverage at the time. The seven-page technical bulletin published with the announcement contained a paragraph and footnote that refer to yet another rule in another bulletin that grants a "hardship exemption" through October 2016 to those whose policies were canceled.

Essentially, the quietly announced change will not penalize, until October 2016, any Americans who lost their health insurance when the Obamacare individual mandate took effect last year but still have not obtained new coverage.

Since the last delay of the individual mandate in December, Americans have been told that they had to purchase insurance by March 31 to avoid being fined by the IRS.

"Americans deserve better than the Obama administration's backdoor political tactics, which are aimed more at shaping news cycles rather than finding workable solutions that will help Americans and their families," Phillips said.


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