White House, insurers locked in unhappy marriage
November 14th, 2013
04:56 PM ET
8 months ago

White House, insurers locked in unhappy marriage

(CNN) – In the irony that has become part of health care reform, the White House and the insurance companies find themselves in “not the happiest of marriages, but one that will have to last,” according to a senior administration official.

The insurance companies, as we know, were not happy about today’s events. But neither, says this official, was the White House.

“We’re not happy with what we had to do either,” says this official, referring to the administrative fix on the Affordable Care Act. “We know that (what) we did today is not a great thing for the marketplace” in the long term.

But the administration made the decision, this source says, because the website fiasco–and the cancellation of policies–left them with little choice but to make this one-year fix.

And while the White House, including the President, was clear to point out that they will not oppose legislation now pending - “It’s just memorializing what we just did,” the official says - it’s also clear that both the White House and the insurance companies would rather not open a Pandora’s box with legislation.

“We (the White House and insurance companies) are all in this for the long haul,” this source says.

This source makes it clear that the administration doesn’t favor a “forever” fix - which Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s proposal provides – and would just rather have one-year solution. But it doesn’t sound like they are fighting anything.

This administration official also questions whether, in fact, premiums would have to rise in 2015 as the insurance industry claims.

“Insurers have mechanisms to adjust (so) they shouldn’t have to increase their premiums in 2015,” this source says. But the insurance companies clearly disagree, as we have reported.

The administration apparently considered a slew of options in trying to fix the mess, including, according to this source, whether people could be given subsidies to pay the difference in cost. But that didn’t work out.

In the end, this source says, the insurance companies and the White House “all have a commitment to make this work. We’re not happy about what we had to do, either. But we took the long view.”


Filed under: Obamacare • White House
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Wow, even the flaming leftists on Bloomberg TV like money !

    Rick Perry / Darrell Issa 2016
    Getting things done is our nature ?

    November 14, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Bill from GA

    Here's how to let the insurance companies off the hook:

    Let anyone buy into Medicare. Offer the same subsidies offered under Obamacare. Consider health coverage the same as highways, military, etc.: necessary (i.e. provided by the government). If you want something better than Medicare, buy it from Blue Cross or whatever.

    This would also provide healthcare beyond the influence of worthless state governments, such as the one in my state of Georgia.

    November 14, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. don in albuquerque

    On our way to Single Payer. The president that delivers this will find himself a national hero within a year.

    November 14, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    It is all GOP thugs drama. ACA is a Law. Nation's dire need. I am not worried of cancellations, it will be fixed.

    November 14, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Eve

    I am pleased to announce that I'll be saving approximately $4000.00 annually because of the ACA. It isn't as perplexing or difficult as many in the media have reported. Personally, it is merely a matter of not allowing negative "noisemakers" to distract and confuse me with their scare tactics. Thank you immensely Mr. PRESIDENT OBAMA for always fighting for us American citizens. Finally we can look up to a wonderful man of integrity and compassion for the majority who will continue to support you and your dedication to "we the people." Yes we can!
    Love, from the great state of Texas!

    November 14, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Mike In CA

    Eve, you are the only one in 45 days of posts I've seen that will save. My premiums went from $600 a month to $1280, and a $12,000 deductible from ZERO. It's not the best for all in this case, just the best for you. I went through the whole BS to find this out and I am not being cancelled from my insurer thankfully. Be careful for what you wish for, never voting for another DEM in this life on earth is my choice, the rest of you do what you need to...From the state of Northern Confusion, not the bay area!

    November 14, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. Jersey Girl

    How much is your insurance? If you are saving 4000.00 a year? Sounds like rubbish!

    November 14, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  8. Too Scruffy

    Thank you King Barry for such a well thought plan. It has been such a joy to witness the well oiled machinery of the government at work. On time, on budget! What a joke,

    November 14, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Bill in Georgia–I know what you mean I live in SC

    November 14, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. luke,az

    Insurance companies have been reaming the American people for far too long.

    November 14, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |