U.S. House Democrat Pelosi: Do not delay health care program, fix it

WASHINGTON Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:03pm EDT

House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (C) arrives for a lunch meeting with Democratic House members in the U.S. Capitol in Washington October 16, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (C) arrives for a lunch meeting with Democratic House members in the U.S. Capitol in Washington October 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration should focus on fixing problems with the launch of government-run online health care insurance exchanges instead of delaying an enrollment deadline for the program, U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday.

"I think we should be able to go forward. I'm more optimistic than that. I have faith in technology and while there are glitches, there are solutions as well," Pelosi, a California congresswoman, told reporters.

Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida told MSNBC that she believed there "should absolutely be an openness" extending the deadline for enrolling in Obamacare.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, on Tuesday wrote President Barack Obama to urge him to extend the open enrollment period past March 31, 2014. The 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as "Obamacare," is expected to provide health coverage to an estimated 7 million uninsured Americans through online marketplaces that opened for enrollment in all 50 states on October 1.

Shaheen suggested extending open enrollment to "provide greater flexibility for the American people seeking to access health insurance." Shaheen also asked the White House, in light of difficulties with the Healthcare.gov website, to clarify how one provision of the law - that all Americans obtain health insurance or face a tax penalty starting next year - will be administered and enforced.

(Reporting by Caren Bohan and David Lawder; Editing by Vicki Allen and Grant McCool)

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Comments (9)
This is starting to look like a win-win situation for the President. Even the most legitimate criticisms have counter-points that erode the ground that the attacks are based upon.

1. “The rollout failure is another example of government incompetence.”

The website (and all of its problems) was created by dozens of PRIVATE contractors. The only incompetent about the government’s role in this was they they outsourced the work to private companies rather than do it themselves. Take note that all of the websites implemented by individual states are working just fine.

2. “Americans don’t want Obamacare.”

The millions of people who have over-trafficked the site and are the cause of the server lag issues would beg to differ.

3. “Obamacare was doomed to failure from the start.”

That remains to be seen, but one thing we know for sure is that the ACA relies on market competition between private insurance companies for its success, so a failure of the ACA means nothing more than the failure of the “free market”. Note that the only part that IS working is Medicaid expansion, you know, the single-payer part of the plan. Perhaps what we truly need is universal coverage from a single-payer system, rather than this half-a**** plan that the conservative Heritage Foundation came up with in the 90′s to oppose Clinton’s single-payer option.

Oct 23, 2013 12:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
“The website (and all of its problems) was created by dozens of PRIVATE contractors. ”
Really? The specifications came from the government and were constantly changing up until the last minute…no matter who wrote it, they were doomed to fail because it’s being “run” by the government. Isn’t Pelosi the same one who said something to the effect we have to the pass the health care reform bill so we can read it?

Oct 23, 2013 1:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:
Helped my sister sign up yesterday. Took 19 minutes. Not the end of the world, conservatives.

Google Chrome, incognito mode. Life goes on.

Oct 23, 2013 1:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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