The District of Columbia’s insurance commissioner says he was fired after questioning President Obama’s plan to fix ObamaCare and saying the city might not follow his suggestions.
Commissioner William White told The Washington Post on Saturday that he was called into Mayor Vincent Gray’s office the prior day and told the Democratic mayor “wants to go in a different direction.”
The president said Thursday that the millions of insurance plans scheduled to be canceled next year to comply with ObamaCare regulations could be extended for a year, after he told Americans prior to the law’s passage that they could keep their existing plans.
However, White and other insurance commissioners across the country have questioned the president’s proposed solution because it could create a mess in the marketplace.
Some of the top reasons for the commissioners’ objections are: policy prices are already locked in to comply with changes in ObamaCare; an extension could conflict with state-level laws to comply with the law and younger Americans needed to join the federal exchange to keep down costs will wait to enroll.
White told the newspaper that the deputy mayor who asked him to leave didn’t say the request was about his remarks.
City officials have not commented on the situation, saying they cannot discuss personnel issues. However, a city official suggested to The Post, on the condition anonymity, that White posted the statement on the city’s website before getting it approved.
The District and 16 states run their own health-care exchange, compared to the 36 states that have instead chosen to let residents shop and purchase insurance on the federal exchange.
“The action today undercuts the purpose of the exchanges, including the District’s DC Health Link, by creating exceptions that make it more difficult for them to operate,” White said Thursday in a statement.
He also agrees with a National Association of Insurance Commissioners statement that said Obama’s order “threatens to undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond.”