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.”…
The White House, while defending the health care law and vowing to fix the problems with the website, has not explicitly ruled out the possibility of delaying the individual mandate. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, also backed Shaheen’s call in a written statement Wednesday.
“I have repeatedly said this law is not perfect and have proposed changes to make it work for Alaska families and small businesses,” he said. “Given the recent website issues, I also support extending open enrollment season. I want to work with the administration to ensure that individuals are not unfairly penalized if technical issues with the website continue.”
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