The Obama administration's decision to give some people more time to sign up for coverage drew criticism from Republicans, while advocates continued to hit hard on the formal deadline to maintain their momentum.
Los Angeles Times: Boehner Ridicules Obama Administration's Healthcare Law Extension
House Speaker John A. Boehner mocked as a "joke" the Obama administration's decision to offer a grace period for enrollment in health plans beyond March 31, saying it made the deadline "meaningless." The Obama administration announced late Tuesday that consumers who say they started the process before month's end will have additional time to complete their enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, a move spurred by a surge in activity on HealthCare.gov (Memoli, 3/26).
ABC News: Boehner On Obamacare Delays: 'What the Hell Is This? A Joke?'
House Speaker John Boehner ridiculed the Obama administration today for taking a loose interpretation of the Affordable Care Act's deadlines as the law is implemented -; a decision he said will render the reforms "meaningless." "[President Obama] hasn't put enough loopholes into the law already. The administration is now resorting to an honor system to enforce it. What the hell is this? A joke?" Boehner incredulously asked reporters at his news conference in the Capitol. "This is part of a long-term pattern of this administration manipulating the laws for its own convenience and it's not hard to understand why the American people question this administration's commitment to the rule of law" (Parkinson, 3/26).
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Obama Backers Warn March 31 Health Deadline Is Real
The Obama administration already confirmed that it's extending the deadline to enroll for health insurance, but that's not stopping President Barack Obama's former campaign organization from reminding people that the original deadline is real. "I need your help, and it's easy," reads the subject line of an email Wednesday from Organizing for Action, formerly the Obama for America campaign organization that helped re-elect Mr. Obama. The email, which carries the signature of Barack Obama, tells people to forward the message to friends , family and neighbors to make sure they go to healthcare.gov and sign up for health insurance (Favole, 3/26).
The Washington Post's In The Loop: Oregon's Schrader Called For Extending Health Deadline Weeks Before White House
Before the administration did what it said it wouldn't -; extend the Obamacare deadline for some -; a Democratic congressman was already working on it. Rep. Kurt Schrader (Ore.) had no "official" advance knowledge of the White House's plans when he introduced a measure on March 12 to give states the option to extend open enrollment by a month. But Schrader is "very good at seeing the writing on the wall," his spokesman said (Kamen and Itkowitz, 3/26).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.