Ezra Klein: WH Trying To Buy Time Until People Realize Obamacare Offers Better Insurance

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LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: What you heard from today from the White House about how the president hopes to fix this situation. What's your reading of how that will work?

EZRA KLEIN: It isn't a fix. And part it's not a fix because the situation actually isn't that broken. What's broken is another part of the law. So, what he said today, the new policy he's got coming out, you're basically dealing with an optional opportunity for insurers to keep putting forward plans that are not going to be profitable for them any longer. And the president really rolled over on insurance today and then fundamentally they are responding to a new set of rules that the Affordable Care Act brings out.

The idea that it's kind of up to them now, I don't think is actually all that accurate. I mean, some of them will take the opportunity to extended the plan for an extra year, but for a lot of them it's not going all that profitable to do so because they simply would have to send out the cancelation notices a year later. They would have to reconstruct infrastructure around the plans in the meantime.

The problem, ultimately, is that the fundamental machinery of the law, mainly Healthcare.gov and the digital architecture it stands atop, is that it is still not working. It is that fundamental problem where people having their plans being canceled, if they can see, often times that they could get better insurance, they can’t see that now. I think fundamentally the White House is trying to buy time until those people can see that.

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