Fox News reports.
Republican lawmakers are pushing back hard against the Obama administration’s decision to delay next year’s open enrollment season for health coverage under ObamaCare until after the 2014 midterm elections.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday it would allow consumers to start signing up for coverage under ObamaCare on Nov. 15, 2014, a month later than originally scheduled. The change does not affect those trying to enroll this year.
Congressional Republicans accused the administration of shifting the dates for political reasons, to hide a spike in 2015 premiums, though information may already be available about 2015 premiums before the elections on Nov. 4.
“That means that if premiums go through the roof in the first year of ObamaCare, no one will know about it until after the election,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement. “This is clearly a cynical political move by the Obama administration to use extra-regulatory, by any means necessary tools to keep this program afloat and hide key information from voters.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., accused the White House of moving next year’s open enrollment date to shield Democrats up for reelection next year who supported the law.
“The only American consumers this change will help are Democratic politicians who voted for Obamacare, because it delays disclosure of some of the law’s most insidious effects until after the election,” Alexander said in a statement.
He said he plans to introduce legislation that would require insurers to provide Americans with “proper notice” of premium increases before open enrollment period on the exchanges starts.
I don’t think that the Democrats are doing this to sway conservative voters, because we know what to expect from round two of Obamacare – loss of health care plans and higher premiums for those with employer-based health insurance. The delay is being done to influence low-information voters, i.e. Democrats. People who don’t follow politics because they are too busy watching Dancing With The Stars and Oprah Winfrey. They are the ones who cannot think beyond the moment, and sway their votes because of deliberately staged events, e.g. – Al Gore kissing his wife (whom he’s now divorced) just before an election. Two weeks is far beyond the time horizons of most Democrat voters.
What the Republicans should do is pass a law requiring all cancellations and premium increases be communicated before the elections and have the Democrats in the House and Senate go on record voting against it. Then they can use that in the 2014 campaigns. Uncertainty will be even more effective when dealing with independent voters who are paying attention to policy issues instead of staged photo-ops.