Dabbling in some word games on par with pondering what the definition of is is, White House health-policy adviser Phil Schiliro said Thursday that the Obama Administration wants to make it clear that allowing people to enroll in Obamacare after the enrollment deadline is not the same as extending the deadline.
“I want to make clear to folks that this is not an extension, this is aimed at people who are in the system, trying to complete their process, but for whatever reason may not do it,” Schiliro said.
As we noted in a previous story, the White House announced Tuesday that Americans who have attempted to enroll in Obamacare but, for whatever reason, do not finish before the March 31 deadline will have until mid-April to enroll before being penalized. More on that here.
“We are letting people complete the process,” Schiliro said. “That’s common sense.”
Of course, Schiliro’s claim would be more believable if not for two problems: 1) The Administration said it will rely on an “honor system” to determine if post-deadline enrollees had actually tried to enroll prior to the deadline. And 2) How many times has the Administration not extended the deadline?
This timeline might help answer the question that serves as the second point:
Obamacare Deadline Extensions
Oct. 1, 2013 – Healthcare.gov launches.
Oct. 2, 2013 – Six enrollments had occurred. Healthcare.gov crashes. About 100 enrollments occur by day’s end.
Oct. 3, 2013 – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee notes: “As of yesterday, there were 248 enrollments.” Administration officials downplay major glitches and claim no enrollment numbers are available, which will become a reoccurring trend.
Oct. 16, 2013 – The Senate votes 81-18 to end the government shutdown. The House follows suit, voting 285-144 in favor of reopening government.
Oct. 17, 2013 – Obama signs a bill to reopen government.
Oct. 23, 2013 – Obama Administration continues to avoid questions about Obamacare problems and enrollment numbers. The White House unilaterally extends the deadline to buy coverage without a penalty to March 31.
Nov. 14, 2013 – Obama offers a “fix” for millions of Americans receiving insurance cancellation notices due to his healthcare overhaul: unilaterally changing his law to grandfather plans that were initially declared subpar by Obamacare standards.
Nov. 21, 2013 – The Administration delays Obamacare open enrollment for 2015 by one month so that Democrats running in 2014 are not massacred by negative press.
Nov. 27, 2013 – The President decides to again break his own law and delay the small-business Obamacare exchange for another year.
Dec. 1, 2013 – The Administration launches a “fixed” Healthcare.gov.
Dec. 12, 2013 – Deadline for Obamacare coverage beginning on Jan. 1 is extended by the White House until Dec. 23.
Dec. 18, 2013 – The White House attempts to boost enrollment numbers by working out a plan to count Americans who have enrolled in, but not paid for, Obamacare.
Dec. 23, 2013 – Deadline for Obamacare coverage beginning on Jan. 1 is extended by the White House until Dec. 24.
Dec. 24, 2013 – People attempting to enroll for Jan. 1 coverage, but kept from doing so by a broken enrollment site, are given more time.
Feb. 10, 2014 – Obama gives small businesses that meet certain conditions and have 50 to 100 employees an employer-mandate waiver until 2016.
March 5, 2014 – Obama tries to make good on his “keep your plan” promise. If your plan still exists, keep it until 2016. This is another ploy to protect vulnerable 2014 Democrats from cancellation headlines.
March 12, 2014 – Representative Kevin Brady (R-Texas) asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “Are you going to delay the mandate that individuals have to buy health care or pay a tax?”
Sebelius replied, “No sir.”
March 14, 2014 – The President extends enrollment deadlines for the third time, this time to give high-risk individuals more time to enroll in Obamacare.
March 25, 2014 – Final enrollment deadline is extended again.