Think Progress reports that Missouri is one of the six states refusing to enforce essential consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The states identified:
… are refusing to oversee even Obamacare’s most basic – and popular – consumer protections and insurance market reforms. That includes the law’s ban on denying coverage or charging more because of a pre-existing condition and discriminating against women on the basis of gender. The decision could present major hurdles to Americans who buy health insurance through federally-run marketplaces in the Lone Star State, Arizona, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. […]The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will instead be responsible for enforcing Obamacare’s insurance industry reforms and reviewing consumer complaints in the states refusing to do so on their own.
Think Progress’ Sy Mukherjee points out that this situation could lead to serious confusion and lots of unnecessary back and forth for those who suspect that an insurer on the exchange is not acting in good faith with the provisions of the law. Navigating the agencies responsible for enforcing the law becomes far more fraught for those who have questions about their insurer:
Usually the answer is your state’s insurance department. But the answer is CMS [the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services if you live in one of the six states that won’t enforce the consumer protections. Unfortunately, if you don’t know that, you could spend months oscillating between the state and federal government, trying to figure out if you’re getting hoodwinked by your insurance company. And in the meantime, the bills are piling up.
When will this stupid obstruction for obstruction’s sake end?
No, don’t bother to answer. We all know that as far as Obamacare goes that it won’t end until the dead enders have been voted out of office. Until that probably distant day, it’s all down to a bunch of rightwing clods, slapping themselves on the back in mutual recognition of their ideological purity while enjoying the goodies gleaned from corporate lobbyists in the ethics-free zone that is Jefferson City.