White House downplays moving unmovable health care deadline . . . again

Despite repeated promises by President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the deadline for Obamacare enrollment would not be delayed, the unmovable date was pushed back two more weeks on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported.

Instead of cutting off enrollment on March 31, the administration is giving people until April 15th to sign up, in a desperate attempt to attract more participants.

The administration is describing the maneuver as a generous extension for people who haven’t completed their HealthCare.gov application, despite Obama’s infamous assertions that all it takes is a mere click of a computer mouse to sign up.

Aware that Republicans will rejoice over bludgeoning this latest executive decree, White House representatives are downplaying the delay’s significance.

“We are … making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment – either on line or by phone,” said Julie Bataille, director of communications for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Some in the health care industry have responded with apprehension, fearing a last-minute surge in enrollment could mean the addition of an inordinate amount of recently ill people joining the program.

On the other hand, said John Kingsdale, former director of Massachusetts’ insurance exchange, “The whole point of the thing is to get people covered.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

Richard Berkow

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]

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