“Two weeks ago, I sat in an appropriations hearing when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said point blank that the deadline was firm and would not be changed,” Rep. Roby said. “If President Obama's chief healthcare administrator isn't going to tell the truth to Congress, he shouldn't send her to testify.
“We all want as many Americans as possible to have affordable health insurance, but the deadline is there for a reason. Removing it brings more uncertainty into the marketplace and makes it difficult for providers to distill metrics and set future rates.
“This delay serves to hide the reality that ObamaCare is fundamentally flawed and needs to be replaced with a patient-centered system that isn't run by the government.”
According to the Washington Post, the new rule will allow people to qualify for an extension simply “by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.”
Video of the exchange from the March 13 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee hearing can be found here. A transcript of the specific exchange with Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) can be found below.
Mr. Fleischmann: And I want a yes-or-no answer: Will you or will you not delay the individual enrollment deadline on any other aspect of Obamacare?
Secretary Sebelius: The enrollment deadline will not be delayed, as I said yesterday…But the enrollment deadline, which was set out to end March 31st, will end March 31st.
Mr. Fleischmann: Okay. So then we agree that there is no statutory authority to extend these deadlines and that they will not be extended.
Secretary Sebelius: The enrollment deadline will be March 31st.
Rep. Roby is a member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee.