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D.C. Insurance Commissioner Ousted After Criticizing Obamacare Policy Change


“Anyone who looks at this can draw their own conclusions."

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks about his signature health care law in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington. Throughout the president's first four years in office, he prided himself on his ability to bounce back when much of Washington thought his presidency was in peril. But the political challenge posed by Obama’s disastrous health care rollout is far greater than those he overcame during the nasty debt ceiling fight with Republicans, his stumbling campaign debate or even the painful recession. This time, the president is fighting to regain trust and credibility with the American people, the very factors that helped keep him afloat during those earlier battles. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File) AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File\n

The District of Columbia's insurance commissioner was fired just one day after criticizing President Barack Obama's policy change that allowed people to keep previous plans for an extra yer that do not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act.

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks about his signature health care law in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

The change was an attempt by the president to patch up what turned into a broken promise: if you like you're plan you can keep it. Reportedly as many as 5 million people so far have lost their health insurance plans as a result of Obamacare.

But Washington, D.C. insurance commissioner William P. White expressed concerns on Thursday.

“The action today undercuts the purpose of the exchanges, including the District’s DC Health Link, by creating exceptions that make it more difficult for them to operate,” White said in a statement Thursday.

On Friday, an aide to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray informed White the city was looking to go in a different direction.

White said the mayoral deputy never said that he was being asked to leave because of his Thursday statement on health care, according to NBC News Channel 4 in Washington.

"The only thing I was told was that the Mayor wanted to go in a different direction and my services were no longer needed,” White said. "I was asked to leave on Friday and I did."

He added, “Anyone who looks at this can draw their own conclusions. My statement came out on Thursday and by Friday 4:15 I was out.”

During his Thursday statement, he also pointed to a statement issued by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that said the Obama order “threatens to undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond.” To that point, Whit's Thursday statement said, “We concur with that assessment.”

The statement was removed from the D.C. city website, The Washington Post reported.

White said it would have been irresponsible not to post an immediate response.

“Everyone was looking for responses from the regulators. One of my chief concerns is always consistency and clarity in the marketplace — you can’t have something that big sitting out there without responding to it,” White said.

Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor L. Hoskins announced the appointment of Chester A. McPherson, who had served as White's deputy, as acting Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB).


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