Do No Harm

No one can say with certainty what President Barack Obama’s apparent reversal concerning canceled health insurance policies means. In all likelihood, Obama and his aides don’t really know themselves. Last Thursday’s announcement by the president was purely for political reasons, meaning Obama will follow through with it only as far as necessary to arrest the slide in his approval ratings.

Obama came under fire after it became clear he lied dozens of times in assuring Americans the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – would allow them to keep the health insurance they have, if they like it. Millions of policies are being canceled because they do not provide coverage required by Obamacare. Policies that meet the requirements will be more expensive.

West Virginia officials have said about 8,800 people in the state already have received cancelation notices. No figures have been released for Ohio, but cancelations there probably total at least 40,000.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who heads the state’s Department of Insurance, has said the state will make every effort to get canceled insurance policies reinstated. No doubt West Virginia officials have the same attitude.

That probably will be far from easy. Insurance companies may already have stopped including such policies in their product mix, because of Obamacare.

Both state governments and insurance companies should work hard to undo the damage done by Obama. Again, nearly 50,000 West Virginians and Ohioans were hurt – but there may be a chance to help them recover. Every effort should be made to do that.