Rubio calls for delay of Obamacare sign-up deadline
October 22nd, 2013
09:16 AM ET
9 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. Malory Archer

    Duke

    Give up the senate seat and run for president. Then you can lose, and we will have you out of politics.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Anchor baby isn't eligible. BOTH of his parents were born in cuba.

    October 22, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. vikingwoman

    Oh, is Rubio giving concessions, trying to tiptoe quietly away from the Tealunatics of his party? Throwing the citizens a bone incase they might want to vote for him in the future? I've noticed he's been giving such statements since the shutdown was shutdown! Trying to make 'reasonable statements' in order to distance himself from the T in the GOTP! Wont work, voters, more than ever, remember what any given politician has said & done to further divisiveness & promote their own agendas! The GOP needs to clean House & give the Tea Party their walking papers! They can start their own independent party, if they dare! Then let's see if they & specifically Cruz, can still claim they're working for the citizens of their states & Americans, who they're so happy to trot out in their speeches!!

    October 22, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    I am surprised we have not heard from let's go back to before the 60s KY turkey.
    If the urban anchor water boy is talking he must. E upset that the Canadian terrorist is winning in the popularity contest of the 20% of haters in our America not just his america in Texas .

    October 22, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Switters

    Voters in Florida know a different Marco Rubio:

    He was born in the U.S. while his parents only held 'temporary visas' – he is the prototype 'anchor baby'.

    He lied for years about his parents escaping Castro's Cuba. Actually, they left several years before Castro took power.
    They came to the United States for the economic opportunities that are here – just like all the Hispanic economic refugees that Marco works every day to help 'keep out'.

    He won his race in Florida with only 48% of the vote.

    He walked away from a home he was buying in Florida when the value went 'underwater'.

    He was a Mormon – then a Catholic – now he takes his family to a 'Southern Baptist' church.

    Tales from his college days have him 'in the closet'.

    October 22, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Ed FL

    Hopefully ,we will see this little Crooked Cuban floating back to Cuba. It is a shame that this Great Country is open to all it's citizens ,however it is lying [About his parents conditions to citizenship] that makes him a typical free loading questionable guest. His free ride to this land of opportunity is not appreciated by people like Rubio. His term will end and so will he.

    October 22, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  6. rusty

    Obama says we will get the best people to find out why the web system is not working. Why didn't he get the best people in the first place? 3yrs. and over 600 million and they didn't get it right? On top of it Obama's people went to a Canadian company with a dubious record. Now we find out it could have had it done for a million dollars and by our U.S. companies that are more computer savy then any nation on earth. Fact Check should stop defending our failure of a president on anything he wanted to pass or lose any credibility they may have. I don't know where they get their facts when it's in front of their nose.

    October 22, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. Crystal

    He's correct. The only way this will work if tons of healthy people sign up to off set the sick people signing up.

    October 22, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
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