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

U.S.

The Media Fell for Elizabeth Warren’s Spin

Do you want to know what media bias looks like? Earlier today, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren released DNA test results that confirmed that she misled employers, students, and the public about her Native American heritage for years. Bizarrely, all too many members of the media treated the results as ... Read More
Culture

A Free People Must Be Virtuous

Dear Reader (Even those of you who didn’t seem to notice or care that I failed to file this “news”letter on Friday), So I’m sitting here at Gate C6 at O’Hare waiting for my flight home. I am weary, pressed for time, in desperate need of a shower, and filled with a great sense of dread for the work ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World Keeps Not Ending

We were not supposed to have made it this far. George Orwell saw night descending on us in 1984. Orwell was, on paper, a radical, but in his heart he was an old-fashioned English liberal. He dreamed of socialism but feared socialists. He feared them because he knew them. I was in the sixth grade in 1984, but I ... Read More