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Monday, May 21, 2018
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White House grinds fresh meat for the exchanges

Regarding the latest in the Obama administration’s lengthy and ongoing series of unilateral (and by most accounts illegal) rewrites of its signature Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – there’s more going on here than mere midterm electoral politics.

The lead editorial in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal offers analysis that claims the White House’s delay and amending of mandates for medium and large companies is also a stab at saving the insurance exchanges, which so far are badly lagging enrollment projections. Worse, what enrollments the exchanges have are overweight with subscribers who are older, sicker, or both, threatening to cripple a problematic economic model that relies heavily on transfers from those who are younger and healthier.

Putting off when certain companies must comply with the mandate to cover full-time workers (those who clock 30 or more hours a week) means more Americans will be subject to the individual mandate. Says the Journal:

“The employer mandate is designed to interlock with the rest of the system, and people are supposed to be eligible for subsidies only if their employers don’t offer insurance. Since the White House is releasing many more businesses from the mandate’s obligations, many more people will suddenly qualify to join the exchanges. The same goes for the 30 percent of workers who will be shut out from employer coverage under the new 70 percent mandate.

“None of this ad libbing is consistent with the plain statutory text of the Affordable Care Act. But then the entire history of ObamaCare has been an exercise in liberals doing whatever it takes – pass it on a partisan vote and despite public disapproval, then rewrite it as they see fit to prevent its increasingly demonstrable flaws from killing it. Liberals know that’s the only way ObamaCare will be around a year from now, never mind five or 10.”