Obama Changes Course

He’s going to allow the renewal of plans cancelled due to the ACA. The president is scheduled to speak any minute now Update: The speech has concluded but you can still watch it using the video below:

Barro analyzes the news:

One key matter to watch with the President’s proposal is how many cancellations it will actually prevent. Even if insurers are allowed to offer renewals, they may not always choose to do so, either because of the logistical challenges associated with un-cancelling health plans just 47 days before the start of the new year, or because the Affordable Care Act changes the insurance market in ways that make certain old plans unprofitable for insurers.

State insurance commissioners would also have to cooperate in the renewals, for example by approving premiums for 2014. That would be difficult on the tight timeline.

That’s why Landrieu’s bill, unlike Upton’s, forces insurers to offer renewals.

Before Obama’s announcement, Chait worried about short-term fixes causing long-term damage:

Undermining Obamacare in order to placate angry individual-insurance holders makes no sense even on narrow political terms. People losing individual insurance they like are angry right now, but they’re a tiny minority of the market, and their anger will fade over time as the exchanges come online. Higher premiums would affect far more people, and their impact would be felt much closer to the midterm elections. Imagine it’s next year, insurers are pulling out of the exchanges, rates are rising, all because of a law Congress hastily passed the year before — is that a better situation?