Why does Obama think he is above laws? Rules never seem to mean anything to him.
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The Obama administration, in an 11th-hour change, announced significant exemptions for people who recently lost their insurance coverage and are struggling to get a new plan — drawing immediate criticism from the insurance industry and Republican lawmakers.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed the changes, which include letting those individuals skirt the law’s individual mandate, in a letter to senators. She said she would allow people who got cancellations and could not find affordable new coverage to qualify for a “hardship exemption” in order to avoid a penalty next year for not having insurance.
Further, she announced that those individuals will be able to purchase bare-bones plans that until now were available only for people under 30.
The move, though, to allow potentially hundreds of thousands of people to sign up for “catastrophic” coverage plans was criticized by the insurance industry as a shift that would cause “tremendous instability.”
The administration, which made the announcement right before the holiday break and as President Obama prepared to fly to Hawaii for vacation, downplayed the sudden change, saying they expected it to impact fewer than 500,000 people.
Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said, “This is a common sense clarification of the law. For the limited number of consumers whose plans have been cancelled and are seeking coverage, this is one more option.”
An insurance industry official told Fox News that while the administration was playing down the significance of the move, it could turn out to be a troublesome last minute change and the industry fears far more than the 500,000 people will apply.