In another setback for President Obama’s health care initiative, the administration has delayed until 2015 a significant consumer protection in the law that limits how much people may have to spend on their own health care.
The limit on out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and co-payments, was not supposed to exceed $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family. But under a little-noticed ruling, federal officials have granted a one-year grace period to some insurers, allowing them to set higher limits, or no limit at all on some costs, in 2014. …
The [change] is likely to fuel continuing Republican efforts this fall to discredit the president’s health care law.
Under the policy, many group health plans will be able to maintain separate out-of-pocket limits for benefits in 2014. As a result, a consumer may be required to pay $6,350 for doctors’ services and hospital care, and an additional $6,350 for prescription drugs under a plan administered by a pharmacy benefit manager.
Some consumers may have to pay even more, as some group health plans will not be required to impose any limit on a patient’s out-of-pocket costs for drugs next year. If a drug plan does not currently have a limit on out-of-pocket costs, it will not have to impose one for 2014, federal officials said Monday.
— A Limit on Consumer Costs Is Delayed in Health Care Law, Robert Pear, New York Times, today
Damn that Obama administration for forcing people whose insurance policies now have no limit on patients’ out-of-pocket costs to force them to wait another year for that consumer protection to kick in! This is proof positive that we should repeal the statute so that that consumer protection will never kick in!
Yep. Definitely fuel for continuing Republican efforts this fall to discredit the president’s health care law. Can’t wait for the fuel spill.
The legal profession has a term for this in its Rules of Evidence: It’s called a statement against interest. The law of physics has a term for it, too: boomerang.
UPDATE: Ezra Klein posted a good Wonkblog post yesterday explaining what happened, and why. 8/14