On Tuesday morning, The New York Times reported the Obama administration had delayed a “significant consumer protection” in the Affordable Care Act, a provision that limits how much individuals and families can pay out-of-pocket for health care, until 2015. Under ObamaCare, the limit on out-of-pocket health care costs was set at $6,350 per year for individuals and $12,700 per year for families.
The Times suggested the delay “underscore[s] the difficulties the Obama administration is facing as it rolls out the health care law” – yet, the development was ignored by both ABC and NBC on their nightly and morning news programs. CBS This Morning also failed to report the delay, while CBS Evening News offered up a short segment on the story.
The delay strikes at the very heart of President Obama’s health care law – titled the Affordable Care Act – given that the titular purpose of the reform is to ensure American citizens have access to “affordable” care. The administration had granted insurance providers the “one-year grace period” back in February, in response to the industry’s concern that it would not be able to comply with out-of-pocket limits before the 2014 deadline.
The setback is one of many for President Obama and his signature legislative achievement, joining the one-year employer mandate delay and the congressional exemption snafu in a long list of implementation hiccups. But ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, ABC’s Good Morning America, and NBC’s Today completely ignored the story – as they largely did with another ObamaCare setback last month.
CBS Evening News offered a brief look at the delay. Anchor Scott Pelley provided viewers with a now-familiar list of “health care law delays”:
This is just the latest in a series of delays in putting the health care law into effect. Earlier, the administration delayed Medicare cuts until after the 2012 election. It delayed until 2015 the employer mandate, which will require employers with 50 or more workers to offer health care. And it delayed the requirement that people prove that they are eligible for insurance subsidies, also until 2015.
NBC Nightly News, for their part, did feature a blistering segment on businesses cutting back hours in the wake of ObamaCare’s implementation. But, again, guest anchor Lester Holt avoided any mention of the “out-of-pocket costs” delay.