Some Democrats Back Delay of Obamacare Mandate; Enrollment May Be Extended
(Update: The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration is considering a slight change to the enrollment deadlines. Currently, the individual mandate requires individuals to have health insurance by March 31, 2014. But due to processing time, and the fact that enrollments take effect on the first of the following month, the de facto deadline is February 15. An official from the Health and Human Services Department wouldn't confirm whether individuals who enroll on March 31 will or will not be penalized, but said “We are exploring options currently and will issue guidance at a later date.”)
Original: Some congressional Democrats are breaking party lines, saying they'd be open to extending the Affordable Care Act's enrollment period and, more importantly, delaying the individual mandate. "If the problems are intense as they are this morning, then maybe we would have to consider a short delay in terms of the individual mandate," New Jersey Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell, told Yahoo News on Wednesday.
Most Democrats are sticking to the script, so to speak, and emphasizing how early it is in the registration process, but the party hasn't been completely united on the individual mandate for a while. In July 22 Democratic representatives joined Republicans in voting to delay the individual mandate for one year. And Pascrell joins Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Sens. Jean Shahaan and Joe Manchin in expressing support for extended enrollment and individual mandate deadlines.