“WHAT the hell is this, a joke?”
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner asked the question Wednesday after the Obama administration announced that its approaching Monday deadline to sign up for insurance coverage this year would be pushed back to mid-April.
March 31 was the date the administration had been trying to drive home to consumers as the deadline neared, using a multi-million dollar marketing campaign that featured celebrities such as LeBron James. These ads are aimed at younger, healthier Americans whose enrollment is critical if the administration is to come close to meeting Obamacare’s cost projections.
March 31 is the date that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promised (as recently as March 12) would remain unchanged. White House spokesman Jay Carney did the same during a briefing last week. Then, on Tuesday night, the administration changed course — yet again.
A person can get dizzy trying to track the many delays and tweaks that have occurred since Obamacare became the law of the land in 2010. As The Wall Street Journal has noted a number of times, the law is what President Barack Obama says it is.
The folks at Politico.com provided a handy listing of some of the most prominent delays to the health care law. Among them:
•November 2012: HHS gives states an extra month to decide whether to create their own health insurance exchanges (34 states, including Oklahoma, chose not to).
•July 2013: The administration delays the employer mandate, which makes businesses subject to fines if they employ more than 50 workers and don’t offer health coverage.