Democrat Shaheen: Extend Obamacare Enrollment Period

Image: Democrat Shaheen: Extend Obamacare Enrollment Period

Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 09:36 PM

By Cathy Burke

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New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen called on the White House Tuesday to extend Obamacare's open enrollment period amid efforts to fix glitches plaguing the government's health insurance exchange website HealthCare.gov.

"The difficulty that people in New Hampshire and in other states that are relying on the federally facilitated marketplaces are experiencing is incredibly frustrating and disappointing," Shaheen wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama, PJ Media reported.

"For over three years, we have been waiting for the creation of the health insurance exchanges, which now in their fourth week of existence are riddled with problems," she wrote.

"Allowing extra time for consumers is critically important so they have the opportunity to become familiar with the website, survey their options and enroll."

Shaheen, who is up for re-election next year, also asked the president to clarify how the penalty for not having health insurance — commonly known as the individual mandate — will be enforced, The Hill reported.

"If an individual is unable to purchase health insurance due to technical problems with enrollment, they should not be penalized because of lack of coverage," she wrote.

Shaheen is the first Senate Democrat to break ranks and call for an Obamacare delay.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has also called for a delay in the individual mandate.

In her letter, Shaheen expressed support for the law, which she says has "positively impacted the lives of millions of Americans."

"I know that the White House is working diligently to address the website issues, and I know that you share my interest in making this law work successfully."



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