Changing the law to protect their senators?


President Barack Obama has made another change in the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare," and this one smacks of political caregiving for some Democratic senators who may suffer election trauma in the November midterms.

The president has made about two dozen alterations in Obamacare, which is now nearing its sign-up deadline of March 31.

The alteration represents another correction for the health care law, which is still recovering from multiple fractures that were diagnosed when the federal and state health care exchanges opened last Oct. 1.

The law originally required that everyone buy a policy that complied with its requirements in 2014.

The new rule states that individuals and small groups may continue to renew old policies up to or beginning Oct. 1, 2016.

The mass insurance cancellations that hit last fall were merely the first wave and the market is still replete with health plans that have so far managed to evade Obamacare's odiferous benefit requirements.

But the political angle on this change was spotlighted in a Wall Street Journal editorial that pointed out that "These policies were due to be terminated starting in October, which has Democratic Senators like Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Udall of Colorado scrambling to avoid the TV ads and political blame they deserve."

The political motivation was easy to spot in a Health and Human Services Department background paper given to reporters that noted that the new rule was "developed in close consultation with members of Congress."

The advisory mentioned senators by name, including but not limited to Landrieu, Udall, Mark Warner of Virginia and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, plus nine House Democrats.

The delay should be made permanent, said Landrieu.

"The administration's action today is a step toward keeping the promise that was made to the American people that if they liked their health plan, they could keep it," the senator said.

Landrieu, a supporter of the law who faces a tough reelection this fall, added, "And I intend to hold the administration to that promise."

For Obamacare, the surgeon in chief operates week after week making incisions, removing organs and performing faulty facelifts, and also trying to keep Congressional Democrats from falling ill in an election year.


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