March 26th, 2014
01:20 PM ET
6 months ago

Boehner rips latest Obamacare extension: 'What the hell is this, a joke?'

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner ripped a decision to extend the March 31 Obamacare enrollment deadline for some people who have not finished signing up.

"What the hell is this, a joke?" he said on Wednesday of the Obama administration’s latest change in carrying out the politically charged health law.

The deadline for individuals to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is Monday. Those Americans without health coverage of any kind after the deadline will have to pay a penalty.

But late Tuesday the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Obamacare, announced that it will give more time to people who try to apply through the federal marketplace by Monday but encounter difficulty.

Administration officials said the move, similar to the one in December for the large number of people who were trying to meet a separate January 1 enrollment deadline, will accommodate people who face special circumstances or complex cases and need extra time to complete their enrollment.

At his weekly news conference, Boehner pounced on the latest tweak to the law.

"Last night brought us yet another delay of Obamacare, another deadline made meaningless. As if he (President Barack Obama) hasn't put enough loopholes into the law already, the administration now resorting to an honor system to enforce it," Boehner said.

The administration argues that heavy demand prompted the change.

"The law is the law. Consumers need to know the deadline is March 31. But just like on Election Day, if you are in line when we close, you get to enroll. We're experiencing near-record volume and the site, and we're not going to turn people away who tried and couldn't complete their enrollment. This is about helping people who want to get health insurance," said HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters.

But Boehner said this week’s move is "part of a long term pattern of this administration manipulating the laws for its own convenience.”

Pointing out that Democrats passed Obamacare without any Republican support, the speaker said they need to stand by their own law.

"The law says that enrollment stops at the end of March. That's what the law says. I've got to live by the law, you've got to live by the law, the American people have got to live by the law and guess what? The President needs to live by the law as well."

The Republican-led House chamber has passed dozens of bills aimed at repealing or altering Obama's signature health law over the past three years. Republicans have also made Obamacare a campaign theme against Democrats in this year’s midterm elections.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fired back at Boehner and House Republicans, saying millions will get health coverage who otherwise wouldn't have it.

"And the joke, I say to my dear friend John Boehner, is him - having more than 60 votes over there to terminate Obamacare," Reid said.

"I just think that we're at a point now where it really does appear to be extremely disingenuous and they oppose anything that's good about Obamacare. Anything good about, anything good this administration tries to do," he said.

– CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this report


Filed under: Health care • Healthcare • John Boehner • Obamacare • President Obama
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Oil Spill's are not a joke Mr. Speaker !

    March 26, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Dar

    "What the hell is this, a joke?"
    Why yes it is a joke!! Well, it is for the people who get to take advantage of people who work for a living by having them pay for them.
    Redistribution at it finest, just like Obama said he would do.

    March 26, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Malory Archer

    There is NO "change in carrying out the 'politically charged' health law". President Obama isn't changing the AHCA in ANY way except to give Americans WHO HAVE ALREADY STARTED THE SIGN UP PROCESS more time to complete it.

    From the article: Pointing out that Democrats passed Obamacare without any Republican support, the speaker said they need to stand by their own law.

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

    Yeah crybaby, because you and your ilk declared on January 20, 2009 that you would vote "NO" on EVERY SINGLE issue President Obama championed. It didn’t matter WHAT the issue was, you and your thug party members were going to vote “no” for no other reason than you’re a bunch of sore losers. And the ACHA only became law BECAUSE THE DEMS HAD ENOUGH VOTES FOR IT TO PASS – it isn't like President Obama did something underhanded AFTER it failed to get enough votes. And don't tell me YOU wouldn't have done the same thing if your ilk had enough votes to pass something without a single Dem signing on.

    March 26, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    Let me get this straight: After the GOP originally asked for a delay on parts of the ACA, they are complaining about delays on parts of the ACA. Perhaps if the shady right wing had not been working so hard to sabotage this, we would need delays.

    March 26, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. Jan Nappylotto

    They need to keep on moving the deadline until they reach the 7 million "sustainable number of enrollees".
    If not we'll have to spend $ millions on the Obamacare Bailout.

    March 26, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Pete

    Hey Boehner stop complaining about the ACA bill when in reality your party hasn't put anything constructive including affordable health care on the table since Pres.Obamas inaugeration..Remember your partys motto you ran on in the last midterms of jobs,jobs,jobs..Just where the hell are they Boehner and you hypocrites talk of emprty promises from the Democrates ,right!!!

    March 26, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. texasnotea

    Republicans just can't stand that they are not in control. Oh the horror of it. Bra ha ha ha ha ha !!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Dead Bear

    Actually those were the words he said when he finally awoke from his decades long drunken stupor and realized he's speaker of the house.

    March 26, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    No John.. Not a joke. A joke would be you trying to lead the TPers and the sight of you with your big gavel, Bam Bam Boehner. That has ALWAYS been funny!

    March 26, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. spike

    I think this is the 28th change Obama has unilaterally made to the law. So much for the libs argument that the law is the law. The law is the law until the dictator says it is not.

    March 26, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Tom

    You know what would really be news? A single day in which a Republican fails to blabber some kind of phony indignation.

    March 26, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. bill

    Another obummer blunder. No problem, the lier of the year will take care of it. If you like your lie you can keep your lie period.

    March 26, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Would someone point out to this horse's behind that if you have begun the process, and the paperwork is not finished, you get to finish even though that may go past the deadline? I swear he is the dumbest speaker in history. By the way wingnuts, people did wait til the last minute, and the enrollment goals will be met. Imagine surviving the red state law suits, the Cruz republican shutdown to repeal the law, the credit downgrade to repeal the law, and $800 million spent by the Kochs, all wasted.

    March 26, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Tampa Tim

    Spike – Actually it's the 7th. But 7 or 28 are equal to a republican.

    March 26, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. Dave

    And they admit there will be zero attempt to verify a "tough case", so this is just a spin on providing yet another extension beyond the initial Dec 15 deadline. WOW.

    March 26, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. Alonso

    If boehner has a better idea for healthcare then he should speekup if not keep his mouth shut

    March 26, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Fair is Fair

    John, John, John... They passed the law so they could see what was in it. They didn't like what they saw. Capeesh?

    March 26, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Tampa Tim

    Imagine over 15 million who were uninsured now getting healthcare and joining the 275 million who already had policies that were not junk. 290 million of us now have access to healthcare and John Boehner signed up too. Red staters get to keep their junk policies, woo hoo.

    March 26, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. Tampa Tim

    Fair – Certainly someone of your intelligence would know that those who have pre existing conditions can now be insured is good, isn't it?

    March 26, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    spike

    I think this is the 28th change Obama has unilaterally made to the law. So much for the libs argument that the law is the law. The law is the law until the dictator says it is not.

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

    Yeah, except President Obama hasn't "changed" the AHCA in ANY way except to give Americans WHO HAVE ALREADY STARTED THE SIGN UP PROCESS more time to complete it. He's giving them more time so they don't have to pay a fine. Why does that make you so angry? Oh I get it – your ilk is SO DESPARATE to make Americans HATE "Obamacare" that you're willing to make people suffer to make it so. What is WRONG with you – and with rethugs in general?

    March 26, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Name petula

    Its because I'm demanding my settlement and I don't know who this Janet person is that's demanding payment when its my settlement?? I've been trying to get you guys to make the US Treasury and the Ute tribe to pay me what i won in court 2012

    March 26, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    Dave

    And they admit there will be zero attempt to verify a "tough case".....

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

    Who are "they" and what does "verify a tough case" mean?

    March 26, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. Rob

    This is what happens when you have an American hating dictator in the white house instead of a president

    March 26, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    The Dems read the law. crybaby and his ilk REFUSED TO EVEN SHOW UP AT THE HEARINGS. Nancy Pelosi told them that if they didn't want to participate they would have to wait until the law was passed to see what was in it. Truth hurts, but it is what it is, and no matter how many times you post Nancy Pelosi's comment without context, someone here will set the record straight.

    March 26, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. Silence DoGood

    @Tampa Tim
    Spike – Actually it's the 7th. But 7 or 28 are equal to a republican.
    -----------–
    And we wonder why they don't notice when Rush just makes random stuff up or changes the "facts" over and over.

    March 26, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
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