Wednesday, March 26, 2014

DIDN'T WE STEP IN THIS LAST DECEMBER, FAUX OUTRAGE AND ... ANOTHER RED LINE

And let's not forget all the Senators lying to America about ObamaCare just so they could pass the law they did not read.

Sen. Reid (D-NV): “In fact, one of our core principles is that if you like the health care you have, you can keep it.” (Congressional Record, S.8642, 8/3/09)
Sen. Murry (D-WA): “Again, if you like what you have, you will be able to keep it. Let me say this again: If you like what you have, when our legislation is passed and signed by the President, you will be able to keep it.” (Congressional Record, S.6400, 6/10/09)
Sen. Landrieu (D-LA): “If you like the insurance that you have, you'll be able to keep it.” (MSNBC’s Hardball, 12/16/09)
Sen. Hagan (D-NC): “We need to support the private insurance industry so that people who have insurance they're happy with can keep it (National Journal’s Congress Daily, 6/18/09)
Sen. Begich (D-AK): “If you got a doctor now, you got a medical professional you want, you get to keep that”.
Sen. Bennet (D-CO): “Start with the basic principle if you have coverage and you like it, you can keep it. If you have your doctor, and you like him or her, you should be able to keep them. We will not take that choice away from you.”
Sen. Harkin (D-IA): “One of the things we put in the health care bill when we designed it was the protection for consumers to keep the plan they have if they like it”…we said, if you like a plan, you get to keep it, and you can grandfather it in.” (Congressional Record, S.7675-6, 9/29/10)
Sen. Schumer (D-NY): “If you like your insurance, you keep it.” (U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, Bill Mark-Up, 9/24/09)
Sen. Durbin (D-IL): “This bill before us on the Senate floor makes it clear that if you have an insurance policy that you like, you can keep it. If you like the doctor that you're currently doing business with, you can continue to use that doctor.” (Teleconference, 12/4/09)
Sen. Baucus (D-MT): “That is why one of the central promises of health care reform has been and is: If you like what you have, you can keep it. That is critically important. If a person has a plan, and he or she likes it, he or she can keep it.” (Congressional Record, S.7676, 9/29/10)
Sen. Levin (D) Mi. April 6, 2012: And it is important to remember that for those who already have health insurance, the law allows you to keep your existing plan.
Sen. Merkley (D) Or. Nov. 11, 2013: If you like your current health insurance, you will be able to keep it. And you will be able to continue seeing your current doctor.

The administration already went through the same exercise in December, cutting people some slack if they were stuck in cybertraffic by the deadline for Jan. 1 coverage. Then and now, administration officials argued that it’s only fair to give people extra time if they were held up by the volume of last-minute sign-ups.

But the list of delays covers so much more. The administration has bent deadlines for the employer mandate (twice), put off the launch of the Spanish-language enrollment site and even delayed the enrollment season for 2015 — pushing it off until after the November midterm elections.

Working backward, here’s a brief history of some of the most prominent Obamacare delays:

March 25: Final enrollment deadline extended. The March 31 deadline — the end of enrollment for 2014 — will be loosened for people with special sign-up circumstances.

(Also on POLITICO: Full health care policy coverage)

March 14: High-risk pools extended. The special, temporary coverage for people with serious pre-existing conditions — which was supposed to last only until the health insurance exchanges were in place — was extended a third time for another month.

Feb. 10: Employer mandate delayed. This time, businesses with between 50 and 100 workers were given until 2016 to offer coverage, and the mandate will be phased in for employers with more than 100 workers.

Jan. 14: High-risk pools extended. The high-risk insurance pools, which originally had been slated to close Jan. 1, had already been extended once.

Dec. 24: Enrollment deadline extended. In a message on HealthCare.gov, customers were told they could get help finishing their Jan. 1 applications if they were already in line on Dec. 24.

(PHOTOS: 25 unforgettable Obamacare quotes)

Dec. 12: Enrollment deadline extended. Customers on the federal enrollment website were given nearly two more weeks to sign up for coverage effective Jan. 1.

Nov. 27: Small Business Health Options Program (known as SHOP) delayed. Online enrollment for the federal health insurance exchanges for small businesses was delayed.

Nov. 21: Open enrollment delayed for 2015. The administration pushed back next year’s enrollment season by a month.

July 2: Employer mandate delayed. The administration declared that it wouldn’t enforce the fines in 2014 for businesses with more than 50 full-time workers who don’t offer health coverage. The fines were pushed back to 2015.

(Also on POLITICO: Honey, I shrunk the mandate)

Nov. 15, 2012: Exchange deadline delayed. The Department of Health and Human Services gave states an extra month to decide whether they would set up their own health insurance exchanges — a decision it announced just one day before the original deadline.