Health care

Calif. says ‘no’ to ObamaCare freebies, makes own law

One of the most liberal states in the nation has said no thanks to a key Obamacare provision and instead is enacting its own version of the law.

California has decided to skirt the “Buy 1, Get 3 Free!” loophole in the Affordable Care Act, a modest piece of the sprawling health care regulation with huge implications. The provision holds the insured blameless for failing to make monthly premium payments while requiring doctors and insurers to continue to offer health care. During a three-month grace period before cancellation, subsidized policy holders can see doctors, have operations and rack up medical bills without paying for anything.

Doctors and insurers will be left holding the bag.

“California is usually leaning to the left, but Obamacare has gone so far that even the left coast is coming back a little to the center,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, who is among a core group of congressional members who have tried to unwind Obamacare.

He has a counterpart in California: state Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin, who is vice chairman of the state’s insurance committee.

“When even California has stricter rules (than Obamacare) for a giveaway, that should tell you something,” Gaines said. “This three-for-one freebie is so bad that even the No. 1 Obama cheerleader state had to break ranks. I’m not shocked anymore by any ridiculous Obamacare example. I’m surprised it’s not four-for-one or six-for-one.”

To that end, the California Department of Managed Health Care is drafting its own version of section 156.270 of the Affordable Care Act that says policy holders will be suspended and unable to use their Obamacare plan after one month of non-payment, which is consistent with California law for all other plans purchased outside of the state’s exchange.

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