Tags: hagan | nunn | obamacare | delay

Hagan, Nunn Latest Red-State Democrats Calling for Obamacare Delay

Image: Hagan, Nunn Latest Red-State Democrats Calling for Obamacare Delay Sen. Kay Hagan, left, and Michelle Nunn.

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 05:13 PM

By Cathy Burke

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North Carolina’s Sen. Kay Hagan and Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn added their names Thursday to the lengthening list of red-state Democrats calling for a delay in enrollment in the problem-plagued Obamacare exchanges.

In a statement on her website, Hagan recommended the Obama administration extend the enrollment deadline for the Affordable Care Act by two months to make up for the time lost by people who have been unable to sign up for health insurance through the HealthCare.gov website.

"Frankly, the Administration had plenty of time to get these websites user ready, and I would like to keep the pressure on to get these problems fixed sooner rather than later so that North Carolina families can get online and shop for the plan that suits them best," Hagan said.

She is considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats in 2014, The Hill reported.

Hagan also called on the administration to be fully transparent about its attempts to get the website running smoothly.

"Anything less than complete disclosure and accountability is not acceptable for me or the North Carolinians I talk to every day," she said. "The administration must improve their communications with the American people about this very important issue."

Nunn, who faces a competitive race in Georgia to replace Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, also called for a delay in the tax penalty, aligning herself with Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who’s working on a one-year penalty delay, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"It has become apparent in recent weeks that implementing this law will take some time. That’s why I supported a delay in the mandate on businesses," she said in a statement to the newspaper. "And it is why, I believe that in light of the recent implementation challenges, I agree with bipartisan efforts led by Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson to postpone the insurance penalty for Georgia families."

Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, who also face tough re-elections in states won by Mitt Romney in last year’s presidential election, signed on to a letter Wednesday calling for extending open enrollment, The Hill reported.

New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was the first to call for an extension earlier this week, but did not specify how long the deadline should be extended. She is also up for re-election in 2014.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a conservative Democrat who won re-election in 2012, has pushed for a one-year delay of the individual mandate.

Individuals must purchase insurance before March 31 to avoid a tax penalty. But many people have been delayed enrolling online as technical issues have plagued the site.

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