Opinion

D.C. insurance commissioner fired after he questioned president’s Obamacare fix

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Washington, D.C.’s insurance commissioner was fired the day after he questioned President Barack Obama’s “fix” for the millions of health insurance policies cancelled because of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

William P. White’s termination came Friday, when one of Democratic Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s senior deputies told him that the mayor “wants to go in a different direction,” White told The Washington Post.

The Post reported:

White said the mayoral deputy never said that he was being asked to leave because of his Thursday statement on health care. But he said the timing was hard to ignore. Roughly 24 hours later, White said, he was “basically being told, ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’ ”

White was one of the first insurance commissioners in the nation last week to push back against Obama’s attempt to smooth over part of the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act: millions of unexpected cancellations of insurance plans.

After President Obama announced that policyholders could keep their plans for another year, despite the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that they be dropped, White reported that he may not allow D.C. residents to keep their plans.

“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 in a statement, according to a separate Post article.

White’s statement said the agency concurred with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ assessment that the Obama order “threatens to undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond.”

It would have been a dereliction of duty not to respond quickly to the president’s statement, White told The Post.

“Everyone was looking for responses from the regulators,” he said. “One of my chief concerns is always consistency and clarity in the marketplace — you can’t have something that big sitting out there without responding to it.”

So much for honesty. Fueling speculation that White’s dismissal was prompted by his criticism of Obama’s insurance fix, White’s statement was removed from the department’s website by the time he was fired.

“Our statement now is that we’re taking a close look at the implications of the president’s announcement on the District’s exchange and we will soon recommend a course of action after taking into consideration the positions of all the stakeholders,” agency spokesman Michael Flagg wrote in an email to The Post.

While the U.S. Marine Corps prides itself on “looking for a few good men,” the District of Columbia is looking for a few yes men.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Texas mom speaks out about viral letter to Obama: ‘I’m one of millions’

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