Democrats Growing Uneasy With Obamacare Rollout

Joe Manchin arrives at the Old Senate Chambers for his swearing in by Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, November 15, 2010.
National Journal
Elahe Izad
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Elahe Izad
Oct. 23, 2013, 12:47 p.m.

Prob­lems with the Obama­care in­sur­ance ex­changes web­site have caused some Demo­crats to call for changes to the pres­id­ent’s sig­na­ture law.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is work­ing on a bill delay­ing for one year the $95 pen­alty for those who don’t pur­chase health in­sur­ance, ac­cord­ing to a Sen­ate aide. The pen­alty is in­ten­ded to be the en­force­ment mech­an­ism be­hind the in­di­vidu­al man­date. Manchin’s bill will dif­fer from a meas­ure com­ing from Sen. Marco Ru­bio, R-Fla., a vo­cal Obama­care op­pon­ent, that would delay the in­di­vidu­al man­date un­til six months after the Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­ab­il­ity Of­fice cer­ti­fies that Health­Care.gov is fully func­tion­al.

It’s no sur­prise that Manchin would sup­port a delay in the pen­alty; in Septem­ber, he said at a Bloomberg Gov­ern­ment break­fast that he could back a con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion that in­cluded a one-year delay of the in­di­vidu­al man­date. “There’s no way I could not vote for it,” Manchin said at the time. “It’s very reas­on­able and sens­ible.” He later voted with Demo­crats to fund the gov­ern­ment without a delay in the health care law, say­ing in a state­ment, “I do not be­lieve we should hold our gov­ern­ment host­age while we work through the health care law.”

Not all Demo­crats are ask­ing for a delay. An­oth­er op­tion is to ex­tend the open-en­roll­ment peri­od bey­ond March 31, 2014, which is what Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., urged in a let­ter Tues­day to Pres­id­ent Obama. She also wrote that be­cause of the prob­lems with the web­site, “I ask that you cla­ri­fy how the in­di­vidu­al re­spons­ib­il­ity pen­alty will be ad­min­istered and en­forced. If an in­di­vidu­al is un­able to pur­chase health in­sur­ance due to tech­nic­al prob­lems with en­roll­ment, they should not be pen­al­ized be­cause of lack of cov­er­age.”

An Obama­care sup­port­er, Sen. Bill Nel­son, D-Fla., told re­port­ers in his Tampa of­fice on Wed­nes­day that prob­lems with the health care web­site are “in­ex­cus­able” and “some­body ought to get fired” over them, ac­cord­ing to his of­fice. But his of­fice said that the sen­at­or “de­clined to place blame on any one in­di­vidu­al, agency or com­pany for prob­lems with the web­site.”

What We're Following See More »
REPORTEDLY TARGETS LGBT
ACLU Suing Trump Administration for Planned Executive Order
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Trump administration for records on an executive order President Trump reportedly planned to release targeting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, ACLU claimed the departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Labor, and Treasury violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to release the records it requested on the reported draft order."

Source:
THANKS WELL-WISHERS AFTER DIAGNOSIS
McCain: “I’ll Be Back Soon”
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"John McCain on Thursday thanked well-wishers for an outpouring of support he received after it was announced that the longtime Arizona Senator has brain cancer. "I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support—unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I'll be back soon, so stand-by!" read a message posted on McCain's Twitter account."

Source:
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES
Christopher Wray Approved as New FBI Director
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
ALPHABAY SOLD DRUG, OTHER ILLICIT GOODS
DOJ Announces Dark Web Marketplace Take Down
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Justice Department on Thursday announced it had shuttered an illicit Internet marketplace for drugs, firearms and fake documents in what Attorney General Jeff Sessions said was the 'largest dark Web takedown in world history. Known as AlphaBay, the marketplace on the dark Web was where users whose identities were masked could engage in substantial buying and selling of illicit goods."

Source:
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login