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ACA Website Does What Shutdown Couldn't


The idea of delaying the penalty associated with the ACA’s individual mandate is becoming more and more popular among Democrats every day. WSJ:

Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.), who is up for re-election in 2014, said in a Thursday statement that the $95 penalty on individuals who fail to enroll in a health insurance plan should be waived for two months. That penalty starts at $95 for 2014 tax returns.

A few hours earlier, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) said in a television interview that the U.S. needs to consider delaying the penalty, which as at the heart of the 2010 law designed to prod Americans without health insurance into buying coverage.

That brings us up to seven Democratic senators now pushing for delay of the penalty. The delay of the penalty isn’t technically the same thing as delay of the individual mandate, but a toothless mandate is more or less useless, so they amount to the same thing.

The irony here, of course, is that delaying Obamacare was one of the central goals of the GOP going into the shutdown. That gambit obviously failed, but it now looks like the natural progression of the botched rollout is gradually succeeding in creating a bipartisan push for delay.

The GOP must be wondering how much more progress they might have made towards delay at this point if they had dropped the shutdown tactics and let the implementation speak for itself.

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  • jeburke

    Ironically, the Administration might well be willing to consider delaying the whole individual mandate/penalty/exchanges system due to these problems for a year or whatever time is necessary to fix them, if it did not appear to be a capitulation to Republican opposition. Thanks, “Tea Party!”

    • Corlyss

      Perhaps. But delay’s a two-edged sword and not necessarily a friend of the Republicans. Delaying the impact on the beleaguered, increasingly un- and underemployed and dis-insured public will take the matter out of its tiny attention span. IMO the number of at-risk Dem Sen. seats is too small to worry Obama. Some of them like Blumenthal are not really at-risk. Connecticut is blue, period.

      I suggest that its time for the Republicans to shut up about delaying Obamacare. The more they try to modify the pain, as opposed to removing it entirely in 2015 if they win the Senate, the less the strategy pays off.

      • Reticulator

        If Republicans win the Senate, all is lost. (If you haven’t kicked a RINO today, your day’s work is not yet finished.)

        • Corlyss

          I confess I really don’t know what to do about the RINO problem. Without Republicans, we get Ombama-style Progs. With RINOs we get people stuck in the mid-70s who remember when compromised worked as long as the Republicans thought enough like Democrats that they were happy with a few crumbs. Pat Caddell says we are now and have been for the last 6-7 years in a pre-revolutionary state. I don’t doubt it. So much that I thought couldn’t go on any longer has not only gone on but has hauled more simpletons into the Progs orbit.

  • Reticulator

    The Republican Establishment should be on its knees thanking the tea partiers in Congress for raising the visibility of this problem and for claiming the high ground for the Republican side.

    • rheddles

      They should be, but they won’t.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    As I have said before, the government shut down theater wasn’t about defunding Obamacare or cutting spending, the TEA Party conservatives knew the establishment Republicans would betray them and surrender. It was about collecting a ton of money (millions), collecting a mailing list of Americans which supported defunding (2 million signed a petition), and forcing the establishment Republicans to expose themselves as liars about their commitment to fighting for fiscal responsibility and small government as they have repeatedly promised at each election (the screaming and backstabbing was everything the TEA Party could have wished for). And this just before the 2014 Primaries, which will see the TEA Party conservatives much better funded, much better organized, and with a much deeper bench than they had for the wildly successful 2010 Shellacking midterm election.

    • Andrew Allison

      I hope that you are right, but think that it would have been smarter to stick to the “stop the out-of-control spending message” and allow ACA to self-destruct.

      • Reticulator

        Bad things don’t self-destruct. The idea that they do is a Rovian fiction. You have to destruct them. I challenge anyone to name a corrupt or abusive government program that self-destructed.

        • USNK2

          Prohibition self-destructed

          • Reticulator

            Wikipedia lists people and organizations that were actively campaigning for repeal.

  • bigfire

    Let IT BURN. Election have consequences. We elected our Lord and Savior Barack H. Obama Jr. to deliver us from the evil of Tea Party and Koch Brothers, and by God, we shall go down in flame for that.

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