Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Asks White House to Lengthen Open Enrollment Period for Obamacare
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) has asked the White House to extend the enrollment period for Obamacare in light of the federal health-care exchange’s continued technical problems.
In a letter to the White House obtained by Politico, Shaheen argues that “Allowing extra time for consumers is critically important so they have the opportunity to become familiar with the website, survey their options and enroll,” and expresses concern that people might become frustrated to the point of giving up on enrolling.
In addition, Shaheen asks the White House for clarification as to whether Americans will still be penalized if they are unable to obtain health insurance after the open enrollment period ends on March 31, 2014.
This makes Shaheen the first Democratic senator to come out in support of such a measure, though not the first one to propose a delay to the law’s implementation; in September, Joe Manchin (W. Va.) proposed delaying the individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.