President Obama continues rewriting his signature healthcare overhaul by "executive fiat," disregarding the will of Congress and the Constitution, according to Betsy McCaughey, a health policy expert and former lieutenant governor of New York.
Rule changes ordered by the president on Thanksgiving Eve "create new losers as well as winners — the sort of trade-offs that legislators are supposed to weigh in our system of government," McCaughey said.
"By repeatedly contradicting the letter of the Affordable Care Act, these new rules add to a pattern of lawlessness in implementing the health law," McCaughey writes in the New York Post
McCaughey makes the case that the changes create a potential windfall for some healthcare consumers and huge problems for millions of others.
The changes "will require large employers to provide more coverage" than required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed by Congress in 2010, she writes — a move that disqualifies health plans offered by 1,600 employers to 3 million workers.
"Those employers will have to find a way to cover the higher costs — and some will surely do so by stopping coverage for spouses or part-time workers," McCaughey writes.
Also, in a complete departure from the law, the new rules announced by Obama declare that state high-risk pools must be treated as adequate coverage under the ACA.
The problem is that 25 states already gave up their high-risk pools in order to comply with the law. People in those states will be disadvantaged by the changes.
People in 10 other states that failed to abolish their high-risk pools are the "winners," she writes.
The Obama rules also force insurers to give enrollees "a 30-day grace period during which they can continue to use doctors not in their plan’s network. Winners: people who need time to switch to in-network doctors. Losers: taxpayers — who’ll be obliged to bail out the insurers clobbered with the extra cost," McCaughey adds.
According to the Galen Institute
, a think tank specializing in healthcare issues, "more than 42 significant changes" have been made to Obamacare since its passage four years ago.
They include least 24 that President Obama made unilaterally, and two others ordered by the Supreme Court. The remaining 16 were passed by Congress and signed into law by the president.
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