Surprise: Senate Democrats Want an Obamacare Delay

Posted: Oct 24, 2013 7:43 AM
Surprise: Senate Democrats Want an Obamacare Delay

As the Obamacare launch rolls along as an unmitigated disaster, nervous Senate Democrats up for re-election next year are changing their tune about delays for the legislation, including a delay for the individual mandate. Fox News has the names:

Several Democratic senators are calling on the Obama administration to delay enforcement of the health care law's individual mandate, joining their Republican colleagues in saying it would be unfair to penalize Americans for failing to buy insurance when the primary sign-up website doesn't work.

The Democratic dominoes began to fall quickly Wednesday, after Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., circulated a letter urging President Obama to extend enrollment beyond March 31, 2014.

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in a statement released late Wednesday, said: "I believe, given the technical issues, it makes sense to extend the time for people to sign up."

Shaheen and several moderate Democrats supporting her, including Pryor, are up for re-election in 2014, and no doubt taking note of the widespread discontent with the launch of
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who is not up for election next year, is working on a bill that would delay the IRS penalty for one year for anyone who does not get insurance.

In case you missed it, Guy covered the details leading up to this point yesterday.

It really is ashame this kind of bipartisan effort didn't happen before the government shutdown when Republicans were calling for the same thing: a delay in the individual mandate. Here's a flashback from September 30.

House Republicans will soon present a third proposal to keep the federal government funded, but it seems all but certain to be rejected by the Senate, just like the two that came before it.

With just hours to go before the government shuts down, the office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) confirmed that it will put together a new continuing resolution with amendments attached to it that will delay Obamacare's individual mandate for one year and end the employer healthcare contribution for members of Congress and their staff.

The outcome, of course, will be a rejection by the Senate, as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has insisted that the Senate will not pass a continuing resolution that contains Obamacare provisions.

Senator Marco Rubio has been working on legislation that would require a delay for the individual mandate until the Obamacare website has been working well for a period of six months. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to be as difficult as possible when it comes to bringing the legislation onto the floor for a vote.

“How are you going to go after people next year using the IRS to punish them if the thing you’re forcing them to buy isn’t available for them,” Rubio (R-Fla.) said on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends.”

So the law I’m going to introduce basically delays that requirement until the [Government Accountability] Office has certified that it’s been up and running and effectively working for six months consecutive,” Rubio added. “I think that’s a prudent approach given the problems that it’s facing by the White House’s own admission.”

Not surprisingly, the White House isn't budging yet. From White House Deputy Press Secretary Ed Schultz.

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