The Corner

WH Confirms Individual-Mandate Quasi-Delay

Americans will have until March 31 to sign up for health insurance without having to pay a penalty under the individual mandate, according to the Associated Press, a change in the implementation of Obamacare hinted at last week. Under the law and given the practical requirements of health insurers, people would previously have had to purchase a plan by about mid February to count as covered for 2014 and avoid the law’s uninsured fee (1 percent of one’s income or $95, whichever is greater).

As I explained last week when the White House first told the Washington Post they’d be making this change, the White House wants to pretend this is just fixing a mistake in the law — which, in some sense, it might be (since it doesn’t make a ton of sense to have open enrollment after you are legally required to buy insurance in a given year), it also amounts to an effective delay of the mandate, since people will now be able to start their coverage in April or possibly even May so long as they’ve enrolled by March 31. Under the law as written, going three months without health insurance in a given year would incur the individual mandate’s tax/penalty; this now won’t apply in 2014. This definitely is not, as some ACA proponents have claimed, an extension of the open-enrollment period, which is when plans will be available — they’re available for the same period, you can just buy them later while still following the individual mandate.

Patrick Brennan — Patrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the ...

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More