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Obamacare Fix Puts Insurers in a Tough Spot.


President Barack Obama speaks on the Affordable Care Act in the White House briefing room on Thursday.

Obamcare requires that insurers provide coverage for things they didn't have to cover before, like maternity care and mental health.

That has led many insurance companies to cancel policies on the individual insurance market, which has in turn caused thousands of consumers to get cancellation notices, telling them that they can't keep their insurance.

The fix, accomplished purely through the power of the executive branch, will allow insurers to renew plans that don't conform with the law, but with two conditions.

First, they have to notify consumers what protections that would normally offer under Obamacare-compliant plans are lacking in the plan that is being renewed.

The House on Friday approved a bill to let insurance companies sell health plans that had previously been canceled due to Obamacare regulations, a day after President Obama moved unilaterally to fix the problem.

The bill would go a step further than the plan Obama announced on Thursday, by allowing insurance companies to sell the old plans to customers who previously had them, as well as new customers, for another year.

Second, the insurer must notify the consumer that there may be other options available, through Obamacare, that may be cheaper, especially if government subsidies are included.

Obama's plan would only apply to those customers enrolled in the plans before the cancellation notices went out.

President Obama should go further and support legislation that would actually make these plans grandfathered, allowing insurers to provide existing individual policies to current policyholders indefinitely without selling them to new policyholders.