Thursday, October 24, 2013

Obamacare Individual Mandate Delayed

The Obama administration said Wednesday night that it will give Americans who buy health insurance through the new online marketplaces an extra six weeks to obtain coverage before they incur a penalty.

The announcement means that those who buy coverage through the exchange will have until March 31 to sign up for a plan, according to an official with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Administration officials said that the rejiggered deadline is unrelated to the many technical problems that have emerged with the Web site,, in its first three weeks. Instead, they said, it is designed to clear up a timing confusion about the 2010 law, which for the first time requires most Americans to buy health coverage or face a penalty.
I don't know how the Washington Post writers wrote that last paragraph with a straight face; maybe they didn't.  While it's true there was a timing issue with the law (because it was so carefully drafted by a bunch of 22 year old congressional interns):
Under the law, health plans available through the new federal or state marketplaces will start Jan. 1, but the open enrollment period runs through the end of March. The law also says that people will be fined only if they do not have coverage for three months in a row. The question has been this: Do people need to be covered by March 31, or merely to have signed up by then, given that insurance policies have a brief lag before they take effect?
But the fact that the website roll out has been a catastrophe, and at the current rate of enrollment it would have reached it's targets sometime in the next geological era has to be playing into it's decision.

Lot's of reactions at Instapundit:

“This morning I was racist for wanting the OCare mandate delayed. Tonight I’m a pragmatic Democrat!”

“Sooo… Obama shut down the govt to stop GOP from making any change to law he had to change a week later. Good times.”

HIS SIGNATURE PROGRAM IS COLLAPSING AND HAS TO BE SAVED IMMEDIATELY. WHAT TO DO? Obama to go on post-shutdown fundraising blitz for Democrats.

Unlike Halliburton in the Bush 43 Era, No-Bid Nature of CGI’s Obamacare Contract Is a Media-Kept Secret.

Obama’s ShamWow speech showcased misleading witness. But the ShamWow reference is unfair. ShamWow’s website works.

I PITY THE FOOL WHO DESIGNED THIS WEBSITE: Kathleen Sebelius Brings In the A-Team. Literally.

HealthCare.Gov site understates prices by as much as half.

ANARCHIST SEDITIONIST! Dem Senator Crafting Bill to Delay Obamacare Individual Mandate a Year. Obviously just wants poor people to be sick.

“The administration clearly understood this — right up to the point where a major component failed. Now it’s apparently planning to keep the reactor running with as many pieces as possible in the hopes that none of it will unexpectedly blow up. This is not sound policy thinking, or even sound political thinking, and I think that all of us who care about keeping insurance available for ordinary Americans should try to talk them out of it — for their good, as well as our own.”

Alternative analogy: The Iraq War.
Given that the website that was written over the last three years isn't working, how long will it be before a new one is constructed, tested and put in place?  I expect continued 6 week extensions for as long as it takes.

Remember, the Obama administration shut down the government for two week and risked the full faith and credit of the US government to keep the individual mandate from being delayed.  A week later, they're delaying it because it won't work.

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