Glenn Reynolds has a question about this:
The Obama administration on Thursday pushed back the deadline for consumers to make their first payment for coverage under the healthcare law.
Rather than a deadline of Dec. 23, insurers will be required to accept premium payments through Dec. 31 for people who are seeking coverage that starts on Jan. 1.
In addition to the one-week extension for premium payments, the administration on Thursday formalized its announcement that consumers have until Dec. 23, instead of Dec. 15, to sign-up for healthcare coverage that goes into affect Jan. 1.
To wit: "Where, exactly, do they get the authority for all these exemptions, waivers, and extensions?" To the best of my knowledge, they don't have this authority. Which leads me to my question: What makes the government officials implementing this policy think that they are immune from prosecution for any laws that they break while following the administration's orders? - And don't say that they don't have to worry about that. After February 2017, Barack Obama won't be able to fix a parking ticket.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: The administration's preliminary January strategy? Blaming insurance companies after giving them vague approvals:
HHS said it would “strongly encourage” insurers to take other "transitional" steps over the next month as well—steps like accepting partial pre-payment for coverage that begins on January 1 as a “down payment” in lieu of full payment prior to the start of coverage and allowing people who sign up after the December 23 deadline to begin coverage on January 1. HHS also said it hoped insurers would accept out of network providers as in-network for “acute episodes” or in cases in which a provider was listed in an insurer’s enrollment directory but dropped out after an individual’s enrollment date.
On an afternoon conference call about the changes, the administration even suggested that insurers should consider accepting as enrolled anyone who has signed up for a plan by December 23—even if the person in question has not paid the first month’s premium at all. Payments could be made after January 1, and after coverage kicked in.
Kinda torn on this. On the one hand, the insurance companies (more specifically, the people running the insurance companies) invited this upon themselves by working with the administration in the first place. On the other hand, the fallout from a White House smear campaign will fall on the deserving and the undeserving alike. On the gripping hand... it's not going to [expletive deleted] fix the actual problem, which makes the White House's strategy both evil and useless.
Democrats not associated with this administration may want to start thinking about the very real possibility that they're going to have to tacitly blacklist anybody who does work for this administration. God only knows what bad habits and poor decision-making strategies they've been infected with by now...