Rubio calls for delay of Obamacare sign-up deadline
October 22nd, 2013
09:16 AM ET
11 months ago

Rubio calls for delay of Obamacare sign-up deadline

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, will introduce a bill next week that would push back the March 31 deadline to sign up for Obamacare because of the federal website's technical issues.

"It's not fair to punish people for not buying something that's not available," he said Tuesday on CBS' "This Morning."

Fact Check: Obamacare

If individuals have not signed up for health care insurance by the end of March, they face a penalty with the Internal Revenue Service. Rubio's bill would move the deadline to six months after the Government Accountability Office certifies that HealthCare.gov is fully functional.

"All it's calling for is a limited delay on the individual mandate until the website is fixed. I think that's a very prudent approach," Rubio said. "Quite frankly, I think that's where we're going to have to wind up anyway."

Report: Healthcare website failed test ahead of rollout

Rep. Trey Radel, R-Florida, announced the House version of the bill also on Tuesday.

"The President seems content to exempt everyone but you and your family from his signature piece of legislation. Worse yet, Healthcare.gov and its Spanish counterpart, where you can shop for health insurance, is completely unusable," he said in a news release. "This bill delays the Obamacare fine on you and your family until you can actually sign up for health coverage, a common sense concept lost on an Administration determined to force this law on you at any cost.”

President Barack Obama addressed the website debacle at an event promoting the Affordable Care Act on Monday. He said "there's no sugarcoating" the problems that have persisted since the website launched on October 1, and argued "nobody is more frustrated by that than I am."

Asked on CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" Monday night whether the administration would consider pushing back the deadline to sign up for insurance, White House spokesman Jay Carney didn't rule the option out, but argued they've long expected that most people wouldn't sign up for insurance until later on, anyway.

"We are three weeks into a six month process. So this is still [the] very early days," he said, before citing what they learned from the statewide insurance program in Massachusetts. "In these early stages, people spend a lot of time shopping. Most of the enrollment comes later, as the deadlines near. So we fully expect to have all of our systems operating more efficiently as we approach those deadlines."

HealthCare.gov: What works, what doesn't

Carney added that right now, they're focused on "making the system work."

"The product here is not a website," he said. "The product is affordable health insurance for Americans who haven't had it in the past."

Fmr. Obama innovation expert: HealthCare.gov created by "sloppy" contractors

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky said people aren't having as tough a time signing up on his state's exchange, arguing that most of the problems are on the federal website.

Beshear also sounded confident everything will work out in the end, but was open to the idea of a possible pushback of the deadline.

"Deadlines tend to move, you know, when things don't work well, we'll move deadlines," he said on CNN's "New Day." "I don't know exactly what decisions will be made because we're not there yet...I feel confident that we will have time to get people in this system."

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • Marco Rubio
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. smith

    I find it disturbing that liberals are always shouting token, uncle tom, traitor, and etc when a member of GOP is a minority

    October 22, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Wake up People!

    Speaking of Hannity......I was channel surfing last night and he was doing a spot called ' Obamacares victims'. People that watch Fox are grossly misinformed.
    ---------------------–
    If they were the same people first broadcast this past Friday evening, they have since been exposed as frauds by another DC media outlet. Both MSNBC and CNN have been reporting on it. For starters, none of the people complaining about the government web site has ever actually tried visiting it.

    October 22, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. Gunderson

    Aw,
    No doubt Web Site be able work in next 300 years. Meantime hitch up them Government Mules. Maybe you still afford Mules if have no job. Maybe get rich pay fair share, no? Soon you live in old Soviet Union.

    October 22, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Look it up, it's on page 131 of the law. So the individual mandate has no deadline, nor does it have any penalties as you don't have to pay them and the IRS can't do a thing about it! Why isn't anyone reporting on this?"

    To quote Chuck Todd ... it is not in the interest of the media to report the truth.

    October 22, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    What's wrong with the GOP teaparty ????? ANSWER. – EVERYTHING!!!!!!

    October 22, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Sniffit

    "Most of the enrollment comes later, as the deadlines near"

    This is borne out by what happened in MA's enrollments when Romneycare was introduced. There was a huge spike right near the end. Carney's not spinning.

    "Think again, Mr. Carney. Most companies conduct their annual health care re-enrollment for the coming year in November. You're about to be slammed, and you don't seem to realize it."

    Not sure I understand your reasoning there. What Carney said is supported by prior experience in MA's Romneycare enrollment. Employers re-enrolling employees in their employer-provided plans aren't going to cause a mad rush to the website, particularly in light of the delay of the employer mandate.

    October 22, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Sniffit

    "Our country has become a nation of hand out mentality"

    Our country has become a nation of "I've got mine, screw you" mentality

    FIFY

    October 22, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Rick McDaniel

    That's going no where.

    The GOP has to face the reality...........until the public gets sick of paying more than its worth, and demands that ObamaCare be changed.........nothing is going to change. Our country has become a nation of hand out mentality, and welfare.
    -----------------
    If forced to make a choice, I'd take your hand-out mentality over your bunker mentality any day of the week.

    October 22, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Dave

    DELAY THIS, Rubio!

    October 22, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. Thomas

    Why isn't Marco Rubio pushing an immigration bill ?

    The health care act enrollment program needs to continue so it can evolve , work the bugs out . You don't need a bill to extend no penalties till June , this can be done with an administration change of extension , very simple .

    October 22, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. w l jones

    These Republican trying use the oldest trick in world which wont work in this time and age rule by confusing. My sugesting go back to drawing board un knowing to PAC.

    October 22, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. CA Independent

    Only a liberal would support a penalty for an individual when the system for signup is broken. What's the matter? Afraid that they can't fix it due to the massively complicated system of rules in place? It will take months for them to correct the issue and verify it.

    October 22, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. missy681

    How about this instead.... "It's not fair to punish people for not buying something" THE END! This entire country has gone insane. I cannot believe that ANYONE would agree that anyone should be punished EVER for NOT buying something they don't want. I have not met anyone in real life that thinks it's okay to force someone else to buy something they don't want. It's only in internet-land that you find people who think it's a good idea, and I wonder if those people would actually admit it to anyone in real life.

    October 22, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. missy681

    How about we just stop his statement right here: "It's not fair to punish people for not buying something" THE END. I cannot believe that people actually think it's okay to force people to buy stuff they don't want.

    October 22, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. Ol' Yeller

    Why do republicants have no faith in American ingenuity and know how? Why are they so quick to want to quit? I believe America is the greatest country in the world and can overcome all obstacles. I believe America is the leader (or has the potential to be) on anything and everything they try, given the right environment to succeed. Why do republicants hate us? Why are they trying to bancrupt us and cause our country to fail?
    Why are cubans being allowed to infiltrate our political system and destroy it from within?
    If these two (cruz and rubio) were Democrats and working to ensure the ACA went smoothly, you would be able to hear the whines of the republicants (particularly hannity and rush) from the Mar's Rover.

    October 22, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. Ol' Yeller

    @Missy681
    I got a ticket for speeding today. I did not want the ticket and did not ask for the ticket, so therefore, by your reasoning, I shouldn't have to pay the ticket.
    I'm free. I'm free!

    October 22, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Gary

    Rubio was also seen dancing around yelling " Look at me, I'm on tv again, whopi"!

    October 22, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. Evergreen

    @missy681 – I agree with you. It not fair to be forced to buy car insurance but in some States, you are penalized for driving without it. Also, it is an unwritten law that forces everyone to buy clothing. You don't have to buy clothing but public nudity is a crime in many States, so you really are forced to buy clothing. It's the law.

    October 22, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. California

    Republicans called for it, democrats will be against it.

    It's just that simple.

    October 22, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. California

    Obama, the so called leader of the "I WILL NOT NEGOTIATE" party.

    October 22, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Data Driven

    @missy681,

    "I cannot believe that people actually think it's okay to force people to buy stuff they don't want"

    Yeh, I know, right? Like car insurance. Child safety seats. Drivers licenses and other forms of photo ID. Vehicle registration. Smog checks. Working head- and tailights.

    And that's just the automotive world. Shall I go on? How about the mandatory purchases related to child care?

    October 22, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Gunderson
    Aw,
    No doubt Web Site be able work in next 300 years. Meantime hitch up them Government Mules. Maybe you still afford Mules if have no job. Maybe get rich pay fair share, no? Soon you live in old Soviet Union.

    Old Brown live through the agony of Bush years. No work, plenty war, plenty young children die. Bush lie, Cheney lie. Me no like GOP. Broken website all Old Gunderson cry about? Gunderson no like people in America get health care? Gunderson maybe a rich, elite Republican who like to write like brain damaged Russian farmer?

    October 22, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. Silence DoGood

    Ol' Yeller
    @Missy681
    I got a ticket for speeding today. I did not want the ticket and did not ask for the ticket, so therefore, by your reasoning, I shouldn't have to pay the ticket.
    I'm free. I'm free!
    -----------
    ha ha yes. But to really be like Cruz, you would say "I know speeding is against a law that has been passed. I don't think it is fair and most American don't like speeding tickets, so I am going whine in public for hours and hours wasting the police officer's time. Then I will go to the press and blame the police officer for having wasted so much time and say the police system is broken."

    October 22, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. Rusty Krus

    @California
    Obama, the so called leader of the "I WILL NOT NEGOTIATE" party.

    He will be our rightfully elected leader until January 2017. Enjoy!

    October 22, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. wendel

    republicans seem to want to delay everything . Opening the government paying our bills. They just cost us 24 Billion dollars and now they are whining about the roll out. If heads need to roll it should be theirs.

    October 22, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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