At this rate, the 2016 DEMOCRATIC candidate will run on repealing Obamacare:
Here's a Friday Obamacare news-dump for you: In a 300-page regulatory proposal released late this afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is considering changing Obamacare's auto-renewal rules so that, within the health law's exchanges, instead of being automatically renewed into your current health plan, you'd be moved into the lowest cost plan from the same service tier.
Essentially, this is insurance-determination-via-bureaucracy: Reason argues that the goal here is to cut down embarrassing premium hikes to policies without having to turn off the imposition of auto-renewal rules... OK, let me back up here. Obamacare currently has auto-renewal enabled on its policies, because without it the signup and membership rate would probably slow, or even decrease. The problem here is that auto-renewal also means lots and lots of future stories about people signing up for policies and suddenly discovering that their rates have gone through the roof. Ostensibly the idea to prevent that is to expect consumers to change policies every year - trust a bureaucrat to think that this would be a thing that people would cheerfully do* - and if they won't do it on their own, well, let the benevolent hand of HHS do it for them**. What could possibly go wrong?
If you answered A new insurance plan every year, with new paperwork, new networks, new co-pays, new restrictions, new exemptions, and we're assuming that critical, ultimately highly expensive documents don't end up in Des Moines with distressing regularity? What can't go wrong? - congratulations! You exist in the real world. Which is somewhere that Obamacare in general, and HHS in particular, only seem to be sporadically manifesting in these days.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Health insurance is scary because being sick is scary, and people do not like to think about scary things. So when they have a policy that they like, they want to keep it because then they can stop thinking about the scary thing. This is, by the way, not a silly or unreasonable desire to have, much to the disgust of Obamacare's more sociopathic boosters: people should be allowed quiet enjoyment of their lives whenever possible. Unfortunately, nobody told the Democratic party leadership that.
**Reason updated with a note that the government was also contemplating letting the user choose the default status of his or her auto-enrollment. This will be leaped upon by many a suddenly-nervous Obamacare advocate, and never mind that changing the default could be as simple a method as finding the form on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'***.