Pelosi pushes back on extending health care enrollment
October 23rd, 2013
01:47 PM ET
10 months ago

Pelosi pushes back on extending health care enrollment

Washington (CNN) - The top Democrat in the House is pushing back against calls to extend open enrollment in the new health care exchanges because of the massive technical problems plaguing HealthCare.gov.

"I don't support that," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday morning, just hours after Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire appeared to be the first Democrat in Congress to join a growing number of her Republican colleagues in suggesting the deadline be pushed back.

The current law stipulates that enrollment in the insurance exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act ends on March 31, 2014. Those who are uninsured after that point face fines by the Internal Revenue Service.

"As website glitches persist, we are losing valuable time to educate and enroll people in insurance plans," Shaheen wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama. "I also fear that people that have tried, and failed, to enroll online may become frustrated and not return to the website to try again at a later date... Allowing extra time for consumers is critically important so they have the opportunity to become familiar with the website, survey their options and enroll."

When asked by CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh, Pelosi said she disagreed with Shaheen, adding that "I think we should fix what we have. Move forward with the deadline we have, respectful of what her (Shaheen's) experience may be, of her suggestion, but not supportive of it."

Pelosi also told reporters on Capitol Hill that she didn't hear any members who took part in a closed door meeting of House Democrats and officials implementing the health care exchanges earlier Wednesday suggest that they wanted to push back the deadline.

But one senior House Democrat who spoke with CNN following the meeting didn't rule it out.

"I'm not prepared to say that now.  We're going to have to find out," said longtime Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, a healthcare reform patriarch, when asked about pushing back the enrollment deadline or removing the fine.

Shaheen faces re-election next year in a purple state but early polling indicates she's far ahead of her possible GOP challengers. Regardless of her push to extend the deadline, Shaheen does not appear to be a turncoat in the war over Obamacare. The Senator's letter to the President offers high praise of - and some patient frustration with - the law.

Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas also supports pushing back the deadline.

"The senator has seen the letter and supports the effort to extend the enrollment deadline," Michael Teague, Pryor's communications director, told CNN Wednesday afternoon.

Pryor, like Shaheen, is also up for re-election next year. He faces a tough bid for another term in office in a red state and is being challenged by GOP Rep. Tom Cotton.

CNN's Conor Finnegan and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report


Filed under: Health care • Jeanne Shaheen • John Dingell • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    So what's YOUR idea, Broom Hilda? You going to fine people for not buying something that the sales vehicle couldn't support?

    October 23, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    There won't be any delay of the individual mandate and we all know it. The reason: the GOP/Teatrolls will now do a complete 180 and block it if it ever comes up.

    October 23, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    1-800-318-2596 call and sign up.

    October 23, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    This web stie boondoggle is the exact kerfuffle within the Democratic Party that Republicans needed to make the public forget that they screwed up the economy with their shutdown.

    October 23, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Nancy knows, unlike Rubio,Cruz Shaheen, etc. In 6 months we will all be laughing at republican stupidity.

    October 23, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. sonny chapman

    Humans resist change. Those motivated by politics are the most resistant.

    October 23, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit

    1-800-318-2596 call and sign up.
    --------------------
    Which is what they should be pushing out front, web site problems or not. Most of the people who would benefit the most from affordable health care probably do not have internet access, anyway.

    October 23, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. Data Driven

    Humana and United Health Care are advertising on CNN's Political Ticker. Both firms have fled the Marketplace Exchanges.

    Question for CNN: how are you going to address this conflict of interest, which is clearly coloring your Obamacare coverage, to your viewers and readers?

    October 23, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    No delay! Let's get this ball rolling.

    1-800-318-2596 call and sign up.

    October 23, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Tommy G

    Pelosi's sheer arrogance and distain for the American people is appalling. But this is how leftist controlled governments treat their people. We are nothing more than pawns and a wallet to steal from.

    October 23, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. norma jean

    Considering how helpful Republicans have been over the many years of growth in this country....I think it"s time for them to just SHUT UP!!!.....We would never have had a lot of programs that have led to moving ahead such as Social Security if it had been left to them....Everything that is major and intricate to get started has problems...We work together and straighten them out...The health plan will be managed and will make life easier for those in need.. The Repubs don't care about these people anyway!!...... Just like Romney and his 47%....!!!!!.

    October 23, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. Donna

    It is very clear that Pelosi, Obama and the Democrats intend to inflict the maximum amount of pain and suffering on the American people by their refusal to accept facts and reality. Their no compromise position once again hurts the country and the American people. They shoul dall be removed from office.

    October 23, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Laverne

    Stick to your guns President Obama and Nancy! This is just another stall tactic to try and destroy the healthcare law. Shame on the dem who is giving in to the pressures of her republican friends. The internet is not the only way to sign up, mail in or phone is still available. There was no internet when medicare and medicaid became law and ready for business. This is non-sense. Yes, there are problems, but they will be fixed just like everything else that is new or unchartered.

    October 23, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Tampa Tim

    Fair – check out page 131 of the ACA.

    October 23, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. just asking

    how many millions of dollars is now being wasted on toll free calls??? and just how do people shop and compare plans over the phone? answer is they do not. the phones are not a replacement for the web site. yet again, the american people are being deceived by obama and his band of liars.

    October 23, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. Tampa Tim

    If the Internet was the only way the uninsured could sign up for the ACA, then we would have a problem.

    October 23, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. sonny chapman

    Donna, how do you KNOW all of these things that you say?

    October 23, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Donna

    It is very clear that Pelosi, Obama and the Democrats intend to inflict the maximum amount of pain and suffering on the American people by their refusal to accept facts and reality. Their no compromise position once again hurts the country and the American people. They shoul dall be removed from office.
    -------------------------
    It is very clear that Pelosi, Obama and the Democrats intend to inflict the maximum amount of pain and suffering on the Tea Party Republicans for their refusal to accept facts and reality. Their no compromise intoloerant positions have once again hurt the country, and the American people. They should all be removed from Congress.

    FIFY

    October 23, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. jpmichigan

    It surely is amazing that #1 the ACA is having great difficulty from day one to allow American to sign on/buy healthcare #2 the RNC ask to delay individual mandates for a year #3 the delay for individuals caused the shutdown ( per Democrats) #4. Now unless a miracle happens, there just may need to be a delay in the individual mandate to sign up/buy healthcare through exchanges. If the Democrats and the President weren't so pig headed the shutdown may not have happened, but then they couldn't put the blame on the RNC, the failure of the official start of ACA in on the Democrats.

    October 23, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. Steve heiser

    What a complete farce I truly hope Odumba care fails he won't accept any blame this man is a complete failure.

    October 23, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. LOL

    Got to love CNN, only leave the comments open for 10 mins when it is something negative about obama's ACA but will leave up negative GOP comments for HOURS.
    First, Tampa Tim, you stated something about the "12 year" old Iraq war which is funny because you liberals have bragged that Obama ended the war as one of his accomplishments. Which is it, did he end it or is it still going??? LOL, you liberals on here have NO shame!!!
    Second, the roll out was horribly blundered, TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY for once, OWN UP TO IT! I see some of you saying that the republicans caused it, again you have NO shame, man up and deal with the fact that Obama and his admin couldn't get it done RIGHT!!! No one sabotaged it, it was POORLY built from the START and now must be rebuilt from the ground up according to a recent article here on CNN! I laugh every time one of you states what ideas do the GOP have, are you unable to read, where have you been for the past few years, the GOP DOES NOT WANT THE LAW AT ALL, pretty simple!! And yes they are going to criticize the roll out because if it has to be done, DO IT RIGHT! You people are pathetic and America sees your games and incompetence, wait till 2014!

    October 23, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. $$$$

    Signing up was supposed to be the easy part. The real problems come with the actual implementation of Obamacare. The electorate will not be very happy with the Democrats and Obama 12 months from now. Just in time for the 2014 elections.

    October 23, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That number again is:

    1-800-318-2596 for Obamacare....because he does.

    October 23, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Silence DoGood

    @Sniffit
    1-800-318-2596 call and sign up.

    Nooooooooooooooo! You are ruining all the imaginary fun the conservatives are having.

    October 23, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    I am tired of the baggers disdain for Americans. While not all republicans are Birthers, all Birthers are republicans, while not all baggers are bigots, it appears that all bigots are baggers.

    October 23, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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