Some Democrats are now calling on President Obama’s administration to delay the health care law mandate over technical issues with the HealthCare.gov website.
Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen led the call Tuesday, and on Wednesday two of her colleagues, Alaska Sen. Mark Begich and Arkansas Sen. Mark L. Pryor, joined her, according to The Washington Times.
“Given the recent website issues, I also support extending open enrollment season,” Begich said. “I want to work with the administration to ensure that individuals are not unfairly penalized if technical issues with the website continue.”
Fox News reports that Republicans are already crafting bills to delay the requirement on individuals to buy health insurance. The GOP has the numbers to pass such a proposal in the House.
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Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is drafting a bill to delay the requirement for insurance until the system has been certified as working for six straight months.
In a letter to President Obama, Shaheen wrote: "As website glitches persist, we are losing valuable time to educate and enroll people in insurance plans. I also fear that people that have tried, and failed, to enroll online may become frustrated and not return to the website to try again at a later date. ... 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 Obama administration has shifted its own emphasis from a Feb. 15 sign-up deadline to an end-of-March deadline for when Americans must prove they have coverage under the individual mandate.