Topics: Obamacare

Why would anybody comply with constantly changing Obamacare rules?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Philip Klein,Obamacare,Eric Cantor,HHS

In an earlier post, I explained why I thought the Department of Health and Human Services' latest change to President Obama's health care law puts the entire individual mandate at risk.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., also raises a fair point: "Our entire health care system can't be fundamentally changed at any given time subject to the random impulses of President Obama. How can anyone make health care decisions today knowing that the law may be unilaterally changed again tomorrow?"

To take that point a bit further, Obama's arbitrary moves actually create a disincentive for people to comply with the law, because there's enough reason to believe that they'll get a better deal if they hold out longer.

For instance, those who have had their plans cancelled but who have yet to purchase insurance are now exempted from the individual mandate in 2014 and given the option of buying cheaper, catastrophic health insurance.

But those options are not open to those people with cancelled plans who rushed to get insurance after receiving cancellation notices. Some of those people might have preferred to have the cheaper insurance options or the choice to go uninsured and avoid the mandate.

Given that the administration has already made so many changes to the law, individuals may as well hold off on purchasing plans, because they may get a better deal if they wait.

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Philip Klein

Commentary Editor
The Washington Examiner