In what is rapidly turning into a farce, Democrats in the House of Representatives are uncovering surprise after surprise in the ObamaCare legislation they just rammed through Congress. Last Friday Representative Henry Waxman scolded U S corporations for announcing expected losses owing to the passage of ObamaCare and summoned them to Washington for what will be a another piece of kabuki theatre.
Today we learn that President Obama's promises about banning insurance company practices of not covering pre existing conditions is, err, no longer operative. According to The New York Times:
WASHINGTON -- Just days after President Obama signed the new health care law, insurance companies are already arguing that, at least for now, they do not have to provide one of the benefits that the president calls a centerpiece of the law: coverage for certain children with pre-existing conditions. Mr. Obama, speaking at a health care rally in northern Virginia on March 19, said, "Starting this year, insurance companies will be banned forever from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions."
To insurance companies, the language of the law is not so clear.
Insurers agree that if they provide insurance for a child, they must cover pre-existing conditions. But, they say, the law does not require them to write insurance for the child and it does not guarantee the "availability of coverage" for all until 2014.
William G. Schiffbauer, a lawyer whose clients include employers and insurance companies, said: "The fine print differs from the larger political message. If a company sells insurance, it will have to cover pre-existing conditions for children covered by the policy. But it does not have to sell to somebody with a pre-existing condition. And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost."
Congressional Democrats were furious when they learned that some insurers disagreed with their interpretation of the law.
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Democrat of West Virginia and chairman of the Senate commerce committee, said: "The ink has not yet dried on the health care reform bill, and already some deplorable health insurance companies are trying to duck away from covering children with pre-existing conditions. This is outrageous."
It can't be said often enough. This is the kind thing that happens when a major piece of legislation is rushed through Congress. The Democrats that crafted this bill are utter incompetents and so is their staff. Fubars such as this are the sort of thing that gets employees fired in the private sector. But not in this Congress, which is already spinning another lie about curing this stunning oversight with an unenforceable, ineffective executive order.
As Daniel Foster hilariously noted over at the Corner.
"But insurers aren't "ducking" anything. They are bound to obey the law in question and the law here is poorly written and unclear at best, non-existent at worst. That's the Democrats' problem, not insurance companies'....ObamaCare has a few preexisting conditions"
One has to wonder what other surprises await the electorate as this rotten onion is unpeeled.