Washington, D.C.'s insurance commissioner confirmed Sunday that he was fired after questioning President Barack Obama's proposed fixes to his troubled health-care law.
William White told NBC News that Mayor Vincent Gray's office didn't explicitly link his dismissal to his comments. But he strongly suggested it wasn't a coincidence.
"Anyone who looks at this can draw their own conclusions. My statement came out on Thursday, and by Friday [at] 4:15 I was out," he said.
White's deputy, Chester McPherson, takes over as acting insurance commissioner. Gray's office didn't respond to a request for comment.
In a statement Thursday, White criticized Obama's announcement earlier in the day that insurance plans scheduled to be canceled next year under the new law could be extended for a year.
White said the extensions would create problems for health-care exchanges because they contradict legislation the District and many states passed to implement the law.
"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," he said Thursday.
White told NBC News that he was disappointed "that I won't be able to complete all of what I was trying to do."
"I understand the mayor has every right to change his mind, and I respect that," he said.