Trial Balloon: White House Implies Individual Mandate Could Be Delayed

jayjayOn Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney implied that the Obama administration could delay the implementation of the individual mandate thanks to the massive technological glitches attendant on the launch of the Obamacare exchanges. Carney explained that anybody “without access to affordable care due to a state not expanding Medicaid or other factors” wouldn’t be penalized, and then avoided answering whether the website failures could be an excuse for non-compliance with Obamacare. “We are focusing on implementing the law,” Carney said, “and ensuring that people have the information they need.” He added, “The law is clear that if you do not have access to affordable health insurance, then you will not be asked to pay a penalty because you haven’t purchased affordable health insurance.”

White House communications director Jen Palmieri said she did not believe that would become an issue, explaining, “If we don’t have it fixed in time is a hypothetical that we don’t expect to encounter.” By law, coverage must be obtained by March 31 of next year or pay what the Supreme Court declared a tax. 

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