H/T to Hot Air and Roll Call for this juicy tidbit of news:
Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is calling on the White House to extend Obamacare’s open enrollment period amid continued frustration with the troubled HealthCare.gov.
“The difficulty that people in New Hampshire and in other states that are relying on the federally facilitated marketplaces are experiencing is incredibly frustrating and disappointing,” Shaheen wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama. “For over three years, we have been waiting for the creation of the health insurance exchanges, which now in their fourth week of existence, are riddled with problems.”
Re-election politics have often changed votes of elected officials. Shaheen’s about face on Obamacare exemptions could be explained by her 2014 election.OBAMA
She also called for delaying the individual mandate if problems persist:
Further, in light of the difficulties individuals may be having with enrolling through healthcare.gov, I ask that you clarify how the individual responsibility penalty will be administered and enforced. If an individual is unable to purchase health insurance due to technical problems with enrollment, they should not be penalized because of lack of coverage.
Shaheen is only the second Democratic Senator to go on the record about delaying the mandate – West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin did so in September. 22 House Democrats also voted with the Republican majority to delay the mandate for a year, even though it would create a death spiral among insurers and basically destroy Obamacare.
The argument by liberal think tanks, pundits, and intelligentsia is that the individual mandate is more important to Obamacare’s survival and (scant chance of) success than the employer mandate. To individuals, it means saving the ideologically based law makes it acceptable to spare businesses at the expense of citizens. However, a growing number of Democrats in Congress may care more about their political survival than keeping Obamacare alive.
With 2014 (and Obamacare implementation) already looking difficult for Democrats, the cracks will continue to grow. The only question is how long it will be until enough Democrats realize fairness – treating all Americans equal under the law, even those without lobbyists on Capitol Hill – is the way to run a democratic republic, not arbitrary special treatment for the well-connected.