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Individual Deadline is Extended


Administration Confirms Extension Of ACA Enrollment Period. After speculation all Wednesday that the Obama Administration would delay the deadline to avoid a penalty under the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, fueled by ongoing negative coverage of healthcare.gov and anonymous reports, it was confirmed that the date insurance must be purchased was pushed back. However, the Administration insists this is not an “individual mandate delay,” and maintains that the move is “unrelated” to troubles with the online marketplace.         Still, Brian Williams, at the opening of NBC Nightly News, reported that “after the debacle on the internet surrounding the roll-out of Obamacare, we have learned tonight that because of the staggering computer problems...the Administration now intends to slide the deadline for the so-called individual mandate for healthcare coverage.” NBC’s Tom Costello reported that the White House “plans to move the penalty deadline for individuals to be required to buy health insurance by as much as six weeks.”         Late Wednesday night, the Washington Post  (10/24, Somashekhar, Goldstein, Eilperin) reports, the Obama Administration confirmed that “it will give Americans who buy health insurance through new online marketplaces an extra six weeks to obtain coverage before they risk a penalty.” The revised guidelines means that “those who buy coverage through the exchange will have until March 31 to sign up for a plan.” HHS officials insist that this change is “unrelated” to troubles with the Federal marketplace website, healthcare.gov, and is instead related to “a ‘disconnect’ among dates in new rules for buying coverage.”         In a 1,300-word, front-page story, the Wall Street Journal  (10/24, A1, Hughes, Nelson, Subscription Publication) reports that news the Obama Administration plans to extend the open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, coupled with a handful of Democratic lawmakers calling for a delay to the law’s individual mandate, demonstrates there is a clear unease growing around the law.         The Wall Street Journal  (10/24, Radnofsky) “Washington Wire” blog focuses “disconnects” about the individual mandate deadlines in the law: even though the official cutoff for the individual mandate is March 31, consumers were being advised to purchase coverage by February 15. As an HHS official said Wednesday night, “The administration is working to align those policies and will issue guidance soon. This guidance will ensure that if you sign up for insurance by the end of March, you will not face a penalty.”         Sarah Kliff, in a “WonkBlog” piece for the Washington Post  (10/23), says, “It’s not quite right to describe this as a delay of the individual mandate, or an extension of open enrollment,” instead, according to Kliff, it is “probably best described as a tweak to the individual mandate: They are allowing anyone who purchases coverage during open enrollment (up through March 31) to not face a tax penalty for those three months they spent uncovered.”         NBC News  (10/24, DeLuca, Arkin) revised an earlier report to add that “The White House says March 31 has always been the intended deadline to sign up for health care to avoid a tax penalty.”         Indeed, NBC News  (10/24, DeLuca, Arkin) was the first Wednesday to report that the Administration was looking into “revising guidance about the date by when Americans are required to purchase health insurance.” Other outlets reporting before the official announcement was made include Bloomberg News  (10/24, Lerer), the Wall Street Journal  (10/24, Britt, Subscription Publication), Politico  (10/24, Cheney), the Daily Caller  (10/24, Cavanaugh), the National Journal  (10/24, Ritger, Subscription Publication), the Christian Science Monitor  (10/24, Trumbull), Kaiser Health News  (10/24, Carey), and the NPR  (10/24, Rovner) “Shots” blog.         Lawmakers Rally Behind Individual Mandate Delay. In related news, more lawmakers are calling on the Obama Administration to delay the individual mandate, or at least extend open enrollment, under the Affordable Care Act. USA Today  (10/24, Camia) reports that on Wednesday, a second Democratic senator backed the idea floated by Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire on Tuesday. Senator Joe Manchin, a vulnerable West Virginia Democrats, wrote, “I believe, given the technical issues, it makes sense to extend the time for people to sign up. In addition, the administration should state clearly how the enforcement mechanism will work if people can’t sign up in time.”         Other outlets reporting on Democratic calls for Obama to either extend open enrollment or delay in the individual mandate penalty are Roll Call  (10/24, Shiner, Subscription Publication), The Hill  (10/24, Sink) “Healthwatch” blog, the CNN  (10/24, Finnegan) “Political Ticker” blog, CBS News  (10/24, Kaplan), FOX News  (10/24), Politico  (10/24, Everett, Kim), the New Orleans Times-Picayune  (10/24, Alpert), and the Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate  (10/24, Blum).         The Washington Times  (10/24, Howell) report that most Democrats have “ducked questions about a delay to the mandate or said it was not discussed during a caucus meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday.”         One top Democrat in the House, however, made it clear she doesn’t want the mandate to be delayed. As Reuters  (10/24), Politico  (10/24, Sherman), The Hill  (10/24, Lillis) “Tube” blog, another from Politico  (10/24, Cunningham), the Huffington Post  (10/24, McAuliff), McClatchy  (10/23), and CNN  (10/24, Steinhauser, Desjardins) report, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi advises Obama to “just fix it.”         Finally, Reuters  (10/24, Lawder) reports that several Republicans want the individual mandate to be delayed as well. As House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters Wednesday, “The rollout of Obamacare is nothing short of a debacle, and the American people are now fearful of their healthcare. With so many unanswered questions and the problems arising around this rollout, it doesn’t make any sense to impose this one percent mandate tax on the American people.”

1 Comment to Individual Deadline is Extended:

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free assignment writer on Friday, January 19, 2018 10:06 PM
The computer problems maintains the penalty deadline and aspects the better marketplaces,thanks. The dead line was extended and opening the enrollment the process and individual delay for work.
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