CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says he thinks the implementation of the Affordable Care Act should be pushed back to 2015 at least.
Open enrollment is scheduled to start on Oct. 1 with coverage beginning Jan. 1 for some.
“Everything is going to change under the ACA,” said Morrisey. “While it’s been three years since the passage of the law, I would argue that delaying the law another year would be a great benefit to both the citizens of West Virginia and to the entire nation.”
Morrisey detailed some of the issues he sees with ongoing ACA implementation efforts on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
He said those problems are largely due to federal delays that have limited the progress of state officials. Half of the ACA deadlines, he said, have been missed.
“This is not about all of the good people in the state that are doing their best to accommodate all the federal regulations coming out of Washington,” said Morrisey.
“This is really about, number one, structural deficiencies within the law but, number two, some absolute major deadlines and problems coming up to Oct. 1.”
Starting next year, individuals and their dependents will have to have health insurance unless they qualify for an exemption. The uninsured will be pay penalties to the Internal Revenue Service with the amounts based on percentages of a household incomes.
Already, the federal government has pushed back the take effect date for the requirement that large employers provide health care coverage for employees or pay penalties to 2015. A policy cap on annual out-of-pocket insurance expenses has also been delayed.
“I’m willing to do anything in my power as attorney general to mitigate harm and help the citizens of our state because that’s my duty, regardless of my personal feelings about the law,” said Morrisey.
“But I really have not met many people who believe that things are ready to roll Oct. 1 or even that they’ll be in place by Jan.1 when individuals will actually start to get the benefits of the plan.”