10 Senate Dems call for extension of Obamacare open enrollment period
Of course they are, they don't want more of the American public to see how they are getting screwed under Obamacare, and they want the non-informed Democrat voter that they always rely on so they can get voted in again.
By: Caroline May
Ten Democratic senators are calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to extend Obamacare’s open enrollment period given the continued problems with HealthCare.gov.
“As long as these substantial technology glitches persist, we are losing valuable time to educate and enroll people in insurance plans,” the letter signed by New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen — as well as Arkansas Sens. Mark Begich and Mark Pryor, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, New Mexico Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet — reads.
“Our constituents are frustrated, and we fear that the longer the website is not functional, opportunities for people to log on, learn about their insurance choices, and enroll will be lost,” they added in their Friday letter.
Tuesday, Shaheen became the first Democratic senator to come out for an extension in the enrollment period, urging the White House to move the enrollment deadline beyond March 31, 2014.
“Given the existing problems with healthcare.gov and other state-run marketplace websites that depend on the federally-administered website, we urge you to consider extending open enrollment beyond the current end date of March 31, 2014,” the senators wrote Friday. “Extending this period will give consumers critical time in which to become familiar with the website and choose a plan that is best for them.”
“Individuals should not be penalized for lack of coverage if they are unable to purchase health insurance due to technical problems,” they added.
The letter did not indicate how long of an extension the ten would like to see.
Read the senators’ full letter:
Dear Secretary Sebelius:
When fully implemented, the Affordable Care Act represents a bold step forward in reforming our nation’s health care system. It has the potential to improve the quality of care we all receive and provides the opportunity for millions of Americans to purchase quality, affordable health insurance.
The newly created federal and state health insurance marketplaces are intended to allow consumers the opportunity to compare health insurance options and find a plan that fits their needs and their budgets. For three years, we have been eagerly waiting for the launch of these marketplaces. However, now that the marketplaces are open, we have become discouraged and frustrated with the problems and interactions that are occurring with the Affordable Care Act’s federally-administered website, healthcare.gov.
As long as these substantial technology glitches persist, we are losing valuable time to educate and enroll people in insurance plans. Our constituents are frustrated, and we fear that the longer the website is not functional, opportunities for people to log on, learn about their insurance choices, and enroll will be lost.
Given the existing problems with healthcare.gov and other state-run marketplace websites that depend on the federally-administered website, we urge you to consider extending open enrollment beyond the current end date of March 31, 2014. Extending this period will give consumers critical time in which to become familiar with the website and choose a plan that is best for them. Individuals should not be penalized for lack of coverage if they are unable to purchase health insurance due to technical problems.
The Affordable Care Act has already had a significant impact on the lives of millions of Americans; seniors are now paying less for their prescription drugs, critical preventive care services are available for free and important work is being done to improve the quality of care we receive. Americans will now have the opportunity to receive tax credits to purchase quality health insurance, and starting in January 2014, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny health coverage because of a pre-existing condition or drop coverage if someone is sick.
We appreciate your efforts to fully implement this law and look forward to working with you to accomplish that goal. Thank you for considering our requests to extend the open enrollment period if the healthcare.gov substantial technology glitches continue.
Signatories:
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); Mark Begich (D-AK); Mark Pryor (D-AR); Mary Landrieu (D-LA); Kay Hagan (D-NC); Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Mark Udall (D-CO); Tom Udall (D-NM); Michael Bennet (D-CO); Martin Heinrich (D-NM).
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