William P. White, Washington, D.C.'s insurance commissioner, has been fired after slamming President Barack Obama's proposed fix for insurance policies canceled because of the Affordable Care Act.
Obama's proposal last week to allow insurance companies to renew canceled policies that did not meet Obamacare guidelines for one year was designed to blunt criticism that he failed to keep a campaign promise regarding the health care measure.
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White, though, was one of the first industry regulators to criticize Obama's plan, saying that it would weaken the law's health care exchanges and it created uncertainty into deals made with insurance companies to comply with the new law.
By Friday, after heated exchanges between him, mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials, White was fired, wrote the Post.
"If I had to do it all over again, I would be certain my communications spokesman had gotten some sign-off before we got it out there," White told the Wall Street Journal. "I was looking at it purely from the standpoint of the marketplace
and what needed to be done. The mayor was looking at it from another standpoint. I failed to reconcile those points of view."
White told the WSJ he apologized to Gray Thursday night in a voicemail, but he was ordered to a Friday afternoon meeting where he was released by one of the mayor's deputies.
D.C. spokesman Michael Flagg declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal on White's departure.
Washington state insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler joined White in his criticism of Obama's plan, telling the Wall Street Journal that he had "serious concerns about how President Obama’s proposal would be implemented and more significantly, its potential impact on the overall stability of our health insurance market."
Kreidler told the WSJ he had decided not to allow Washington state insurers to extend their policies.
The exchanges need a sizable enrollment of healthy customers, and Affordable Care Act officials are hoping that owners of the canceled policies will sign up as their existing policies go away.
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