By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
As millions of Americans are losing their healthcare insurance, President Barack Hussein Obama (D) announced that Americans who like their insurance can keep their insurance for another 12 months.
The President announced at a news conference on Thursday that he would allow insurance companies to continue to offer insurance policies that do not comply with the strict demands of the Department of Health and Human Services for another year, potentially slowing the rate of policy cancellations that have swept the nation as more of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Obamacare) goes into effect.
Following the President’s announcement, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) said in a statement that the law is unworkable and should be repealed. Governor Bentley said, “I would like to commend the President for recognizing what I have said all along, that the Affordable Care Act is unworkable legislation. The late change announced Thursday is an acknowledgement by the federal government that the complexities of this convoluted law are making its implementation practically impossible. I would like to see this law repealed and a bipartisan group of experts and stakeholders brought together to create a truly effective, accessible and affordable health insurance and healthcare plan for the people of this country.
Blue Cross Blue Shield, who has already canceled 87,000 Alabama healthcare insurance policies announced that they were studying the President’s proposal.
Most members of Alabama’s Congressional delegation want the President to go further and are co-sponsoring H.R. 3350, the Keep Your Health Plan Act.
Congressman Mike Rogers (R) from Saks said, “This legislation, introduced by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), would allow health care plans on the individual market to remain available so people could have the option to keep their current health care plans…Although this bill would help in the short term, there is no substitute for getting rid of Obamacare altogether.”
Congressman Mike Rogers (R) from Saks joined all nine members of Alabama’s congressional delegation at the time in voting against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 when it passed originally.
President Barack Obama’s controversial healthcare reform package has only grown more unpopular as more of the controversial legislation has gone into effect and as Americans have learned that the President’s promise that if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance was simply an empty promise.
Rep. Rogers said in his monthly column, “America is over six weeks in to the Obamacare rollout, and things are still a mess. People are still having problems signing up, but even more painful are the letters folks are receiving about the changes to their current health care plans. Every day we are hearing more and more about people’s current health care plans being dropped completely. Because of this, families and individuals are now being forced into different and often times much more expensive health care plans.”
Rep. Rogers continued, “Many folks across East Alabama may have to make the tough decision to forego their health insurance because of unforeseen increases in the cost of their health care premiums and deductibles. Yet under Obamacare, folks are required to purchase health insurance by March of 2014 to avoid paying a penalty. They just cannot afford any of it.”
The healthcare roll out debacle has hurt the President’s popularity. A Quinnipiac poll released late Tuesday showed that only 36% approve of the American people approve of President Obama’s handling of healthcare while 60% now disapprove.
Only 19% believe that the quality of healthcare they and their family receive will get better because of the Affordable Care Act. 43% believe that their healthcare will get worse and 33% expect no change. 55% now oppose the Affordable Care Act while only 39% still support the ACA.
Some constitutional scholars question whether or not the President even has the authority to delay enforcement of a provision of congressional legislation for a year, but whether it is ordering federal regulators to pass rules regulating carbon dioxide emissions, ordering that illegal aliens be given legal status in this country preventing deportations, or delaying Obamacare for American businesses, President Obama has claimed unprecedented powers.
Governor Bentley has been a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act. The Governor has: supported efforts to challenge the constitutionality of the unpopular legislation, refused to create a state supported healthcare exchange and refused to expand Alabama Medicaid.
It is unclear what the President’s latest directive actually accomplishes other than delaying some of the pain of Obamacare until after the midterm elections.