Earlier, we reported on the cushy treatment North Carolina insurance commissioner Wayne Goodwin has been getting regarding this ObamaCare mess. Ol’ Wayne brags on his web site that everything related to insurance in this state has to be okayed by HIM.
(National analyses have found North Carolina will be hit the hardest by ObamaCare. )
But a chorus of business elites and establishment Republicans have defended Goodwin from our criticism — suggesting that his hands are tied by Washington. Question: If he is so impotent, why do we need him? Shut down his office and use the funds to pay down on those billions in state debt.
Oklahoma has filed suit against the feds over ObamaCare. Their insurance regulators also allowed for early insurance renewals in order to help state residents avoid the mass cancellations so many across the country are experiencing.
Georgia’s insurance commissioner is fighting ObamaCare tooth-and-nail, much to the ire of lefties across his state and the nation.
While the media was busy with beating up the legislature over its fight against ObamaCare, Wayne Goodwin stayed below radar. Now that there is a national uproar, and the horse is out of the barn, Goodwin is stepping out into the spotlight to bash, not the concept of ObamaCare itself, but the process for rolling it out.
Goodwin says he is going to do what he can to help Barry Obama with his “fix”:
The state’s insurance commissioner is joining the Obama administration’s plan to browbeat/lure/trick insurance companies into ignoring federal law and offering insurance plans that don’t meet the minimum requirements for policies under Obamacare.
They’ll probably be sorry if they fall for this one.
Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin vowed Friday that his agency would speed the approval process for insurers to offer 2014 health plans that don’t meet the minimum requirements of the Affordable Care Act. President Barack Obama on Thursday granted a one-year exemption for such plans ….
First, this will be fiendishly difficult to implement, and insurers will be left holding the bag if it flops as badly as Obamacare has done so far.
Second, as many have noted, the Affordable Care Act is law — settled law, as Democrats were so quick to remind us mere weeks ago. It was passed by Congress, signed with much ado by the president, then specifically validated by the Supreme Court.
It’s the law. What happens, then, if an insurer disregards it, as President Obama and his fellow Democrat, Goodwin, are telling them they should do?
As journalist Megan McArdle mused, “If those policies end up in court, will a judge go along with their creative approach? And if a judge doesn’t go along with it, what sort of chaos will envelop the insurance market?”
The insurance companies would be leaving themselves wide open to a lawsuit by anyone who has any grievance that even touches on these issues. To repeat: the companies would be knowingly breaking a federal law.
And would Obama help them? Sure, just as much as he helped the Syrian rebels, the Americans attacked at Benghazi, and the groups targeted by the IRS.
Back in NC, insurers should understand they are being played for suckers. Trying to rewrite policies in a huge hurry invites major mistakes. And Goodwin seems ready to pounce. According to WRAL:
Insurers will still face consequences if plans are later deemed overpriced, Goodwin said.
“Then, there will be appropriate repercussions against those insurance companies,” he said.
So if the insurers go along with the state, they are lining up to be smacked later if the policies are “deemed overpriced.”
As he told the N&O:
“Where we would normally catch things on the front end, we will catch things on the back end,” N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin said Friday. “If upon later review we discover they’re overcharging and they’re not compliant with the law, insurers will be subject to administrative action.”
The “fixes” are a ticking time bomb. And anyone who gets involved is going get caught in the blast.
Four years ago, this law was passed with specific standards for insurance policies. If an insurance policy does not meet those standards, it cannot be sold in a world governed by ObamaCare. Insurance companies, naturally, don’t want to purposely violate the law. So, they took the initiative to cancel the policies that did not meet the O-Care standards and prepare themselves for this brave new world in the insurance industry.
It cost a lot to shut these policies down. It will cost a lot to reinstate them. It will cost even more to cancel them AGAIN right after the 2014 vote.
The authors of the bill knew policies would be canceled. Insurance professionals at all levels across the country knew the cancellations were coming. Democrats have admitted publicly that they knew O-Care would mean people would lose their insurance.
Democrats and O-Care fans — from Barry himself, to Kay Hagan, and Goodwin — are not reacting like this because they have experienced an epiphany. They recognize the anger out there among the grassroots, and are looking to temporarily calm things down — until after the 2014 vote.
Mike Causey, Goodwin’s Republican opponent in 2012, ran a pretty weak campaign. But he did raise some important issues about how the insurance business is regulated here in North Carolina. Those concerns and Goodwin’s watercarrying for this ObamaCare catastrophe give North Carolina voters a lot to chew on and consider between now and the 2016 Council of State votes.