Democrats On Delaying Obamacare: It’s OK As Long As It’s Our Idea


Now that it’s irrefutably obvious to everyone that the Oct. 1 rollout of Obamacare has been — and remains — a stillborn disaster, all the evil conservative talk about delaying the health plan during the government shutdown farce has become more palatable for Democratic leaders who, only days ago, were unwavering in their hasty support of keeping the program on schedule.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reversed course Monday, telling reporters the Administration of President Barack Obama could opt, even now, to push back the deadline for mandatory individual healthcare coverage if the glitchy, inaccurate website continues to shut out the few would-be applicants from completing their enrollment, or provides them pricing information that changes after their enrollments have been completed.

From FOX News:

Carney was peppered with questions on whether the administration would be open to delaying the requirement on individuals to buy health insurance, if the website continues to lock out would-be customers. Echoing Obama, Carney said repeatedly that the country is just three weeks into a six-month enrollment process and suggested it’s too early to make any decisions of that magnitude.

But he did not close the door on the option.

Asked if the administration is looking for flexibility in applying the mandate, Carney said: “Whatever conclusions you draw about the way the law is written, I think you can draw. The law is clear that if you do not have access to affordable health insurance, then you will not be asked to pay a penalty because you haven’t purchased affordable health insurance.”

None of that points unequivocally toward a delay in Obama’s implementation of the law for regular people. But it does represent a sea change from the hard-line rhetoric Democrats deployed against conservative Congressmen who called for a delay or defunding during the debt limit standoff. The White House’s new, soft language that entertains all options owes chiefly to the President’s debt ceiling victory over a confused and impotent Senate GOP caucus.

Now that Obama holds the momentary upper hand in framing the upcoming second round of budget fights along Democratic Party talking points, the idea of delaying the individual mandate clearly seems more palatable for the President. But if recent history is any indication, don’t expect that to last.

A political problem has appeared: With the Obamacare rollout already nearly a month behind schedule, a Republican is floating a bill to delay the law’s mandatory individual enrollment. And that could easily lure the Obama Administration and its Congressional servants, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) into a partisan fight that tosses the best interests of the American people out the window (once again). Democrats won’t concede to any piece of legislation, no matter how sensible or beneficial (even to the beleaguered President himself), that smells like a political assassination from the right.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has a point: You can’t change the rules of the game on people after the game has started. After all, would you expect your landlord to pay you a prorated amount of the rent you’d overpaid if he decided to kick you out in the middle of the month? The law would.

“How are you going to go after people next year using the IRS to punish them if the thing you’re forcing them to buy isn’t available for them?” Rubio argued. “So the law I’m going to introduce basically delays that requirement until the [Government Accountability] Office has certified that it’s been up and running and effectively working for six months consecutive,” Rubio added. “I think that’s a prudent approach given the problems that it’s facing by the White House’s own admission.”

Of course it is. But any early GOP attempt to solve Obamacare’s most immediate problem — the problem of forcing Americans to hold up their end of the deal, even as the government effectively pleads for more time — is only setting Congress up for an imminent repeat of the partisan debt limit fight it had temporarily “solved” only a week ago. And that benefits no one — including Congress.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

  • vicki

    ” the problem of forcing Americans to hold up their end of the deal”

    Deal? What deal? A deal requires informed consent from all parties. Forcing them to take the deal is pretty much the protection racket once so common to organized labor.

  • Angrymike

    That’s because the leader of the “spoiled brat administration” is just that, and no one can tell him anything because he’s always right, or its the other guys fault…….


    Jon Stewart Delivers Blistering Takedown of Obamacare Rollout: Dems Can’t ‘Spin This Turd’.

  • Dirty Daug

    Do your part as Americans, send the Obamacare website a virus.

  • vietnamvet1971

    Now the Liberal Idiots think it is a good idea to delay this Monster of NON- Healthcare TAX system. DUH keep voting for these Idiots and send them to DC so they can take care of you, HA, LAUGH. And now they said O’ Muslim in Chief did not know how bad the website was until they told him yesterday, Boy they sure like to cover & protect his sorry behind. The Buck does not stop at his desk. What a DUD & Laughing Joke of the World.

  • FreedomFigther

    ObamaCare is the last in final nail in the coffen of “America Land of the Free”.
    Laus DeoSemper FI

  • gelliott

    The longer the Dems wait before “proposing” a delay in the individual mandate (exactly what the Repubs have been asking for), the harder it will be for them to convince the American people that it was really their idea, not the Repubs. Also, it will be interesting to see how they try to “spin” their proposal when it finally comes so that it sounds like a better idea and more humane than the one the Repubs have offered. Politics……. $&^%$#@* !

  • Jim B

    The enormous weight of BHO’s OC will crush the foundation of this unstable/unsustainable government bureaucracy to its core. BHO doesn’t realize that the Republicans actually through him a lifeline which, he and his minions refused to take. If he had, this crisis, and it is a crisis of biblical proportion, would have been avoided and he would have still come out looking very Presidential. But that is not what happened, and instead he and his minions doubled down on doom and crisis. Insurance companies now say that the OC mandatory health care system will result in an insurance Death Spiral (eventually so top heavy with the sick and elderly that healthy people will opt out or find any alternative to the government run system. At this point, the expectation is that the system will undoubtedly start out this way which will mean it immediate demise, or even more government force to make working American’s pay for it i.e. another mandatory payroll tax such as SS, McAid, McCare. Expect both the Fed and liberal State i.e. N.Y. to enact these new extortion measures. Hope and Change, and when your youth comes home from college with their brainwashed liberal teachings, pop’em upside the head and show them what their voting is doing to their families, friends, and neighbors.

  • jimwilson81

    People talk about a possibility of a third party. The only party I want is the one when we force these idiots out of office and elect a whole new senate and congress! Then we can limit the terms of office so no one party can as much power as the democrats or republicans have today. We need people that can think outside of the box and quit being boot kissers.

  • vincent marquette

    Obamacare is an immediate problem and Democrats are a problem all the time. Democrats are the terrorist we must fear. They walk amongst us.