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.

MetroNews file photo

Attorney General Morrisey said West Virginia and other states are not ready for the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“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.”

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  • EPMountaineer

    He believes more time is needed so he and his deputy attorneys can continue spending taxpayer money researching and investigating how he can dismantle the Affordable Care Act. He should tell the 120,000 low-income working West Virginians who will be able to receive affordable healthcare, which will help keep them working in the event they get sick or hurt, and will help keep them from financial ruin if they accidentally become sick or injured, that he is doing everything in his power to help them. And way to do everything in his power to help the other 91,000 working West Virginians who have lost insurance and/or been unable to purchase insurance because of a preexisting condition, their employer doesn't offer affordable insurance programs, or because they are self-employed and can't find affordable coverage.

  • Luther

    Well said, AG Morrisey. Boss Hog McGraw would have been handing out pro-Obamacare trinkets by now.

  • Jephre

    There are no scare tactics here, just reality. If this mess goes into effect, everyone should get ready for higher taxes, higher premiums, higher copays and deductibles, higher prescription costs, fewer doctors, fewer provider choices, longer waits for appointments, losing the doctor and insurance plan you like, the list goes on and on.

    • EPMountaineer

      Enough of the "crying wolf." None of the the things you have stated will occur with any significant change and we know this because it hasn't happened in the states that have already implemented. Only a very small percentage of people have seen or will see a small tax increase. Those mainly include people without insurance, people who use tanning beds, and people who purchase medical devices. Most premiums and costs will go down. Further, since ACA's implementation, the annual rise in healthcare costs, which began spiking in 2003, has decreased. Only individuals with "cadillac policies" will see increases in expenses or decreases in benefits and that will correct for the generous tax breaks received by those "cadillac policies." Initially, it might be more difficult to make an appointment with a doctor because more people will be able to see a doctor, but that will adjust as healthcare providers are able to hire more doctors.

  • David

    It would be nice if he would try to help consumers, not try to scare them away from obtaining health insurance coverage. I mean, what kind of person tries to scare people into not getting health care?

  • welfareworker

    just get it done. we will never be totally ready

  • Debra

    Last chance to fight the ACA. Desperate tactic, OBAMASCARE!