Remember ObamaCare? There was a time when Republicans were determined to roll it back before surrendering, once again, and everyone came around to accepting it as the new normal. It’s an old story by now. Left wages war and its opponents promised to fight to the death on this hill before retreating to another one. The trouble with that arrangement is that leftists don’t stop advancing just because their enemies retreat.
The battle over health insurance is still being waged.
Forcing Americans to buy expensive products they don’t want or need. Behold the President’s plan to limit short-term health insurance plans in order to jam more consumers into the heavily subsidized and regulated ObamaCare exchanges.
The Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury Departments on Friday proposed rules to roll back the Trump Administration’s expansion of short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) plans. Since 2018 these plans have been available in 12-month increments, and consumers have been able to renew them for up to 36 months.
Short-term plans aren’t required to provide comprehensive benefits, including pediatric services, maternity care and mental health treatment. They are thus much cheaper than the heavily-regulated plans on the ObamaCare exchanges, which must provide 10 “essential” benefits and are restricted in their ability to charge premiums based on age and risk.
These plans are especially attractive to young people whose employers don’t provide coverage. Why would a healthy 26-year-old want to pay for maternity, pediatric and other services he probably won’t use in the near future?
Here’s a statement from Rep. Jason Smith at the House Ways and Means Committee.
“An affordable insurance option for many Americans is now under attack by the Biden Administration, whose top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to health care has only driven up insurance premiums for millions of Americans. This new Biden rule ignores the fact that short-term, limited-duration insurance coverage is used by 1.5 million Americans and the annual cost can be nearly 60 percent more affordable than the lowest cost Obamacare plan. Imposing new restrictions on short-term plans will stifle competition, drive up costs, limit the number of lower-premium options available, and in some case outright takeaway the coverage many Americans have and can afford today.
There’s a history to this.
In October 2016, the Obama Administration limited STLDI policies to durations of 3 months, with no offers of renewal, for no reason other than to force more Americans into the unaffordable Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace.
In October 2018, the Trump Administration expanded coverage durations to up to 364 days, with options to renew coverage for up to a total of three years.
ObamaCare is still financially unworkable. Luring people into Medicaid plans and then dumping them into ObamaCare exchanges with bonus subsidies and then hoping that, like people who forgot to cancel their Netflix subscription, they’ll stay there once the subsidies go away was never much of a plan.
The crackdown on short term plans is yet another effort to force people into exchanges to avoid the inevitable implosion.