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Another Obamacare delay: Cap on out-of-pocket costs delayed until 2015

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By Doug Powers  •  August 13, 2013 12:34 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

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If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free. – P.J. O’Rourke
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The looming train wreck has already seen its share of delays (Medicare cuts and the employer mandate). We can now add out-of-pocket caps to the list:

In another setback for President Obama’s health care initiative, the administration has delayed until 2015 a significant consumer protection in the law that limits how much people may have to spend on their own health care.

The limit on out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and co-payments, was not supposed to exceed $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family. But under a little-noticed ruling, federal officials have granted a one-year grace period to some insurers, allowing them to set higher limits, or no limit at all on some costs, in 2014.

On Sunday, Rep. James Clyburn said the Dems designed Obamacare so they could run on it in 2014. Many Dems are as anxious to campaign on Obamacare in 2014 as Hillary would be to run on Benghazi in 2016, but they don’t really have a choice.

The reason for this latest delay?

A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said: “We knew this was an important issue. We had to balance the interests of consumers with the concerns of health plan sponsors and carriers, which told us that their computer systems were not set up to aggregate all of a person’s out-of-pocket costs. They asked for more time to comply.”

Avik Roy at Forbes asks: “Exactly how is it in consumers’ interests to pay far more for health insurance than they do already?”

The Obama administration is “balancing the interests of consumers with the concerns of health plan sponsors and carriers” by delaying everything except the individual mandate? Obviously the interests of consumers are way down the list of priorities.

**Written by Doug Powers

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