2014 Senate Dems Are Backing Plan To Delay Individual Mandate
Earlier today, The Hill reported that following the Democrat meeting with the HHS official, "they downplayed the significance of the technical issues plaguing the site", prompting me to assume that the briefing was more political than informational - but the Politico has painted a very different picture of frantic 2014 Democrats barely controlling their anger and seeking an escape hatch.
It’s screwed up,” Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) said, summing up the whole situation.
“Democrats have frustration about the rollout and implementation because we want to do the right kind of oversight to make sure it works. Because that’s Congress’s job,” said Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.). “General assurances aren’t going to make anyone feel better. The administration needs to be specific about what they’re doing to solve specific problems.”
“We need to move beyond ‘glitches.’ ‘Glitches’ perhaps existed on Oct. 1 and 2. It wouldn’t describe the extent of the problem. But, it’s all fixable,” Larsen said.
Some Democrats have begun suggesting extending the enrollment timetable so consumers have more time to sign up and don’t get fined for not getting a product unavailable on a glitchy website. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said Tuesday that the open enrollment should be extended past March 31, and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on MSNBC that “there should be an openness” to changes.
More of the same at CBS DC:
“I think the president needs to man up, find out who was responsible and fire them,” Rep. Richard Nolan, D-Minn., said after the briefing. He said Obama should tell Democrats when the problems will be fixed so they can prepare to move on. “You don’t get many second chances to get a good first impression.”
Nolan wasn’t the only one.
“Somebody should be held accountable,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif. “Absolutely.”
Senator Shaheen is calling on Obama to delay the the open enrollment period, and delay implementation of the Individual Mandate tax if the problems persist (and they will.)
“Given the existing problems with the website, I urge you to consider extending open enrollment beyond the current end date of March 31, 2014. Allowing extra time for consumers is critically important so they have the opportunity to become familiar with the website, survey their options and enroll,” the Democrat wrote in a Tuesday letter to President Barack Obama.
Shaheen then went further to suggest a delay in enforcement of the individual mandate tax penalty if issues persist.
“Further, in light of the difficulties individuals may be having with enrolling through healthcare.gov, I ask that you clarify how the individual responsibility penalty will be administered and enforced,” she wrote. “If an individual is unable to purchase health insurance due to technical problems with enrollment, they should not be penalized because of lack of coverage.”
CNN's Dana Bash reported that sources are telling her that all of the 2014 Senate Dems are supporting Shaheen's proposal:
Meanwhile, as reported at Big Government, Senator Joe Manchin is working on a bill to delay the Individual Mandate.
Without the Individual Mandate with all those young healthy people signing up for health care, of course, ObamaCare goes into death spin.
At his Daily White House Press Briefing, Jay Carney said GOP calls to delay the individual mandate lacked "a sincere desire to improve the system" and instead were intended to undermine Obamacare.
Or maybe they just thought that since Obama unilaterally delayed the Employer Mandate, it would only be fair for him to delay the Individual Mandate, as well? Maybe they were just trying to spare Americans of the ravages of this cursed law that is "hanging over our economy like a wet blanket"?
No doubt Jay Carney would say the Democrats who are calling for delays in the individual mandate are not motivated by anything but the purest of intentions. Not trying to save their political skins in 2014 or anything vulgar like that.
Yet we're supposed to believe that the government shutdown Republicans forced in an effort to defund/delay this unholy mess, was political suicide for Republicans in 2014? Does any outside of the Washington bubble really believe that?