The Obamacare implementation has hit another snag which has prompted yet another delay.
Now the feds have announced that they has been unable to reach agreement with insurance providers on government-approved insurance to sold in 34 state healthcare exchanges or marketplaces starting October 1.
Reuters reports that “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified insurance companies on Tuesday that it would not sign final agreements with the plans between September 5 and 9, as originally anticipated, but would wait until mid-September instead, according to insurance industry sources.”
According to The Hill, “Each of the plans sold must meet specific requirements, and the insurer must sign a special agreement with the federal government in order to participate in the exchanges.”
The latest Obamacare delay is the result of unspecified “technical issues.”
State attorney generals and other expert observers have already warned the state healthcare exchanges — when or if they are up in running — are ripe for identity theft and fraud.
Commenting on this latest Obamacare delay, US Sen. Sen. John Barrasso (R- Wyo.) who is also a physician noted that “this just shows that this healthcare law — which is not just unpopular and not just unaffordable — it’s also unworkable… as a doctor, I want to make sure we have people in this country getting care that is affordable and they have access to that care. This healthcare law is heading in the wrong direction.”
The individual mandate is still for now scheduled to go into effect on January 1 under rules the government issued this week. The penalty in 2014 for failing to obtain health insurance is $95 or one percent of income, whichever is higher; in 2016, the penalty will jump to $695 or 2.5 percent, respectively.
With Democrats controlling both chambers in Congress at the time, the US Senate passed Obamacare, a.k.a the Affordable Care Act, on a straight party-line vote on Christmas Eve 2009. The House of Representatives narrowly passed the Senate version of Obamacare on March 21, 2010, and it was subsequently signed into law. Last June, the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate in a 5-4 decision.