With midterm congressional elections bearing down, the government changed its regulation of Obamacare to give consumers and states more flexibility to decide on their health plans, insurers more time to sign up customers and taxpayers a chance to avoid more costs.
The health-care industry will change its focus from expanding the insurance market to reining in medical costs now that the U.S. presidential election has been decided, said Karen Ignagni, chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans.
WellPoint Inc. , UnitedHealth Group Inc. and three other health insurers, criticized by Democrats during the overhaul debate, are seeking to influence how the new law will be implemented, and possibly change it, by campaigning for supportive congressional candidates.
Hundreds of thousands of people whose health plans are being canceled because their coverage doesn’t meet Obamacare rules will be exempt next year from the U.S. mandate that all Americans carry medical insurance.
The heads of trade groups draw on a common set of skills to succeed. Among them: a deep knowledge of Washington’s lawmaking process, access to the capital’s power players and the ability to charm and cajole in equal measures.