Health & Human Services

States Divided over Obamacare ‘Fix’

November 18, 2013
 

State regulators aren’t rushing to President Barack Obama’s rescue after the White House’s attempt to fix the rising wave of canceled health insurance policies.

The president’s decision to extend the renewal window for existing health plans won’t work for the millions losing their coverage unless insurers and state insurance regulators give their blessing.

Few state insurance commissioners by Friday had announced support for the Obama administration’s latest Obamacare patch. The state regulators, who were caught off guard by the White House’s Thursday announcement, largely said they needed more time to talk with health plans and evaluate whether the administration’s plan would upend their insurance markets.

Obama himself met with some leading insurance executives Friday for what he said was a “brainstorming” session about the policy.

“We’re going to be soliciting ideas from them,” he said. “There is going to be a collaborative process.”

The initial reaction to the White House “fix” didn’t run along the usual red state-blue state lines. Even a reliable White House ally like Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick couldn’t say whether his state would back the administration’s cancellation plan.

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