Effect on Texas Consumers Unclear as Obama Delays Health Insurance Plan Cancellations

Nov 14, 2013

President Barack Obama’s decision to allow insurance companies to continue offering policies that would be canceled under the Affordable Care Act has an unclear effect on Texans.

In an announcement today, the President said he is leaving it up to states and state insurance commissioners to decide if consumers can keep these plans through 2014.

In a written statement, Texas Governor Rick Perry said the decision makes a bad situation worse, by creating more confusion for consumers. John Davidson with the Texas Public Policy Foundation agrees.

"The president’s so-called administrative fix makes state commissioners in some states more powerful than the president. And that’s a remarkable thing for the President to do rather than allow Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate to pass legislation that would repeal this harmful part of the law," Davidson says.

Davidson is referring to a vote tomorrow in the U.S. House of Representatives on a bill that would let consumers buy these minimal plans, not just keep them for another year.

Texas is one of six states that chose not to enforce the Affordable Care Act market reform provisions. So the state doesn’t necessarily keep track of which plans don’t comply with the Act.

The Texas Department of Insurance released the following statement: "Because Texas is not enforcing the Affordable Care Act, it remains to be seen how President Obama's executive order will impact the marketplace and consumers. Whether a company offers or withdraws a policy is a business decision for that company. We will be closely monitoring the impact of these latest developments on consumers and the industry."