Trump offers limited relief from Obamacare coercion

In a post called “One Families’ Obamacare Tale — Mine,” I described how Obamacare deprived my wife of the medical insurance that fits our needs. Our tale is interesting, I think, but a bit complicated. I discussed it fully in the original post.

Essentially, my wife needed “catastrophic insurance” to fill a gap in her insurance plan. In the pre-Obamacare market, we were able to purchase a fairly reasonably priced policy with a pretty high deductible.

However, Obamacare deemed this policy “junk insurance” and so we could no longer buy it. The policy might have been junk insurance to President Obama. To us it was the insurance we needed — no more, no less.

Obama didn’t really think our policy was junk, he just thought it wasn’t expensive enough to enable him to pay for other peoples’ insurance. So he tried to coerce us into paying for things like obstetrics, drug abuse treatment, and other services my wife doesn’t need.

We resisted.

The Trump administration is doing what it can to chip away at rules that prevent folks from buying insurance that fits their needs, as opposed to the needs of the Obama administration. Thus, it has altered an Obamacare regulation that tries to coerce people into buying overly expensive short-term insurance plans. It won’t help my wife, who will soon be on Medicare anyway, but will help others, if courts don’t block it.

The rule proposes to expand the availability of short-term, limited-duration health insurance by allowing consumers to buy plans providing coverage for any period of less than 12 months, rather than the current maximum period of three months. The plans need not fit Obamacare’s ridiculous definition of essential health benefits — e.g., obstetrics for 60-year-olds.

David Catron explains that under the old rules, Americans could purchase limited-duration plans that don’t meet Obamacare specifications if they found themselves between jobs or without coverage for some other reason. However, the coverage was only good for three months at the most. Under the amended regulation, it will be good for up to 12 months.

Naturally, four Democrat-controlled cities promptly filed a lawsuit to block the administration’s modest attempt to help consumers. I expect that one or more of our robed masters in the federal judiciary will contrive to find merit in the Democrats’ case.

The ensuing fight will likely be protracted, but it’s well worth having.