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."
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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."
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."
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."
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.