It’s a small change, but another change to It’s. The. Law.
(Washington Post) The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.
Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.
Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.
Interesting: if it’s so difficult to enroll through healthcare.gov that one cannot get it done in six months (remember, it was launched October 1st), and need another half month or so, perhaps the website was a disaster and people should be fired, like, say, HHS head Kathleen Sebelius.
The rules, which will apply to the federal exchanges operating in three dozen states, will essentially create a large loophole even as White House officials have repeatedly said that the March 31 deadline was firm. The extra time will not technically alter the deadline but will create a broad new category of people eligible for what’s known as a special enrollment period.
Semantics. It’s yet another lawless change to the ACA. Team Obama states that this is needed to deal with the “surge” of people flocking to the website at the last minute. Sure thing, Sparky, sure thing. Didn’t Kathleen Sebelius testify to Congress that there would be no more delays to the law? Yes, she did. This was just two weeks ago.
I’m not sure why Obama was so upset about the government shutdown over Ocare: he’s delaying everything himself.