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 »
MAY BRING CONSERVATIVES ON BOARD, BUT WHAT ABOUT MODERATES?
House GOP Circulates Amendment on Preexisting Conditions
11 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"House Republicans are circulating the text of an amendment to their ObamaCare replacement bill that they believe could bring many conservatives on board. According to legislative text of the amendment," drafted by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), "the measure would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal one of ObamaCare’s core protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Conservatives argue the provision drives up premiums for healthy people, but Democrats—and many more moderate Republicans—warn it would spark a return to the days when insurance companies could charge sick people exorbitantly high premiums."

AT LEAST 30 TO BE ASSESSED
Trump to Order Review of National Monuments
12 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump on Wednesday "will order a review of national monuments created over the past 20 years with an aim toward rescinding or resizing some of them—part of a broader push to reopen areas to drilling, mining, and other development." Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters on Tuesday said he'd be reviewing about 30 monuments.

Source:
EMERGING BUDGET FRAMEWORK?
Dems Proposes Obamacare-for-Defense Deal
15 hours ago
THE LATEST

"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."

Source:
WHITE HOUSE BLOCKING DOC REQUEST
Michael Flynn Remains A Russian-Sized Problem
16 hours ago
BREAKING

The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.

Source:
SENATE JUDICIARY HEARING
Sally Yates to Testify on May 8
21 hours ago
THE LATEST
×
×

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