The White House announced today that the Obamacare individual mandate deadline will likely be pushed back as much as six weeks.
The individual mandate forces Americans to purchase health insurance that meets certain standards, or pay a fine. Currently, individuals have until February 15 to start the Obamacare application process and avoid a penalty. If the mandate is pushed back, however, that deadline will be moved to March. At this time, it is unknown if Congress will need to approve the deadline switch.
The new deadline will give “experts” time to fix the glitches that currently make HealthCare.gov virtually unusable.
“There’s no sugar coating it,” Obama said of the site’s tech failure.
NBC News reports, “As the Obama administration weighed changes to the individual mandate, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that it will hold daily briefings to update reporters on the progress of what President Barack Obama has called the “tech surge” to rectify the hitches and glitches on the troubled health care website.
The daily briefings will start Thursday, just two days after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Obama did not know about the health insurance website’s hitches and glitches until after it was launched three weeks ago.”
It is unclear who, specifically, will be holding the daily briefings.
Since the HealthCare.gov site launched, users have reported overwhelming glitches and error messages. In fact, one survey found that only one in five people who tried to use HealthCare.gov were able to sign up for Obamacare successfully.
Still, Kathleen Sebelius, the HHS Secretary, said she had no concerns about the site prior to October 1. She said, “I think that we talked about having testing going forward, and if we had an ideal situation and could have built a product in, you know, a five-year period of time we probably would have taken five years, but we didn’t have five years. We wanted to make sure we made good on this final implementation of the law.”
Do you think it is good that Obama finally decided to delay the individual mandate?
It makes one wonder why he fought so hard against the Republicans, when they initially pushed to fund the entire government except Obamacare (their goal was to push back the individual mandate one year).