11 Attorneys General Challenge Legality of PPACA Policy Change

Attorneys general from 11 states have questioned the legality of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act policy changes enacted by the Obama administration.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey authored the letter, which was co-signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. The letter opposes President Barack Obama's decision to use executive action to allow health insurers to continue offering plans in 2014 that aren't PPACA compliant, calling the action "flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law."

"We support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage, but the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through congressional action," Mr. Morrisey wrote.

The letter claims the president's action violates his responsibility to "take care" to execute laws faithfully as specified in the U.S. Constitution.

Originally, non-grandfathered policies — plans that went into effect or underwent certain changes after the PPACA became law in March 2010 — had to meet new coverage requirements in 2014. However, in November, President Obama decided to allow for the extension of plans that aren't PPACA-compliant after the cancelation of non-grandfathered policies drew criticism from Republicans, who said the president had failed to keep his promise that Americans could keep their old health plans if they wanted under the PPACA.

Following the president's announcement, insurance industry members expressed concern about his decision, saying it could lead to fewer younger and healthier people purchasing coverage through the health insurance exchanges, causing premiums to increase. HHS validated those worries last month when it released regulations acknowledging that extending health plans that don't meet PPACA requirements could lead to fewer healthy exchange enrollees and losses for health insurers.

More Articles on PPACA Policy Changes:
Moody's: PPACA Policy Changes Mean More Risk for Health Insurers
HHS: Extending Health Plans Could Lead to Losses for Insurers
Insurance Industry Uneasy About Obama's Decision to Extend Health Plans 

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