Millions of people may be exempt from the individual mandate – the CMS issued guidance on December 19, 2013 “indicating that individuals whose policies are canceled because the coverage is not compliant with the Affordable Care Act qualify for a hardship exemption if they find other options to be more expensive, and are able to purchase catastrophic coverage. This hardship exemption will continue to be available until October 1, 2016 to those individuals whose non compliant coverage is canceled and who meet the requirements specified in the guidance” – in other words, the Act is supposed to be “affordable” but if it is not because the policy was changed, even though the change was supposed to be about quality, we are OK to overlook it, because we were kidding about forcing quality on people despite its potential unaffordability? OK…and in public testimony