It appears the Trump administration plans to come after Idaho and try to vigorously enforce Obamacare mandates in the state.
In January, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and Lt. Gov. Brad Little signed an executive order authorizing insurance companies doing business in the state to offer less costly plans that do not comply with all of the Obamacare mandates and requirements. At the time, the big question was whether any insurance companies would step up to the plate and offer such plans.
At least one company has.
As we reported recently, Blue Cross of Idaho plans to begin offering new Obamacare non-compliant options as early as April.
But the Trump administration has already indicated it does not plan to let Idaho dictate its own insurance policy if it does not conform to mandates written into the Affordable Care Act. On March 8, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma sent a letter to Gov. Otter and Idaho Department of Insurance Commissioner Dean Cameron saying that if the state does not enforce Obamacare requirements, the feds will.
Verma concedes that Obamacare has turned into a nightmare for average Americans.
“As you know, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is failing to deliver quality health care options to the American people and has damaged health insurance markets across the nation, including Idaho’s. Most Idahoans who did not receive federal premium subsidies have been exposed to large premium rate increases since 2014. In fact, premium rates for coverage sold through the Exchange in Idaho have increased by 91.4% from 2014 to 2018.”
Verma went on to highlight the losses incurred by Idaho insurers since the implementation of Obamacare. But she makes it clear that despite the fact the ACA has proven a total failure, the federal government must enforce it.
“However, the PPACA remains the law and we have a duty to enforce and uphold the law.”
The letter indicates if Idaho does not enforce the Obamacare mandates, the CMS will step in and handle enforcement itself.
“If a state fails to substantially enforce the law, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has a responsibility to enforce these provisions on behalf of the State.”
It doesn’t appear the federal government will take any action against the state of Idaho, but any insurance companies selling plans that do not comply with Obamacare will find themselves in the crosshairs. They could ultimately face substantial fines.
“If any health insurance issuer that is subject to CMS’s enforcement authority fails to comply with the P