ObamaCare Rollout Hits Another Big Bump

Cap on out-of-pocket expenses will be delayed a year

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 13, 2013 7:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – The first year of the Affordable Care Act may not be too affordable for some. The New York Times reports that another key part of ObamaCare—this time, a cap on out-of-pocket expenses for patients—will be delayed by a year. The law was supposed to guarantee that individuals would not have to pay more than $6,350 and families more than $12,700, but insurers argued successfully that they needed more time to comply. The reason? They say they haven't had enough time to get their computers in sync on the issue.

The delay could hit hardest those who need pricey drugs for things such as multiple sclerosis and cancer, say patients' advocates. The Times story harkens back to 2009, when President Obama pitched the caps before Congress as a main reason for reform: “We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick." The delay is the latest setback for the rollout of ObamaCare, and will surely give its GOP critics on Capitol Hill more ammunition.

President Obama gestures speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House on July 19.
President Obama gestures speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House on July 19.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama gestures during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013.
President Barack Obama gestures during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013.
President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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