The definitive roundup of Obamacare’s worst delays
Monday marks the final day of Obamacare’s first open enrollment period — sort of — but the health-care law has yet to even be implemented in its entirety.
Despite all the Obama administration’s talk about Republicans “obstructing” the health-care law, federal officials and Obamacare administrators have done far more damage to Obamacare by delaying some of its most central provisions. Here’s the Daily Caller News Foundation’s list of the ways the Obama administration has taken apart its own law, piece by piece.
AUGUST 27, 2013: The Department of Health and Human Services tells insurance companies it won’t sign agreements on health plans to be sold in Obamacare exchanges until several weeks after the original September 5-9 timeline. (RELATED: Another Obamacare delay: HHS pushes back deadline for signing final healthcare plans)
SEPTEMBER 26, 2013: The Obama administration tells Hispanic groups it will be several weeks late in launching CuidadoDesSalud.gov, the Spanish-language version of HealthCare.gov. The delay lasted over two months and the website, launched in early December, was accused of being written in ‘Spanglish.’ (RELATED: The top ten Obamacare delays)
OCTOBER 23, 2013: The administration extends the deadline to purchase health coverage in 2014 before triggering the individual mandate penalty by 6 weeks. That delay allowed consumers to purchase health insurance by March 31 to avoid the tax, rather than requiring them to have active coverage. (RELATED: Reports: Obama plans six-week delay of Obamacare mandate)
NOVEMBER 14, 2013: President Obama announces that the administration will allow insurers to extend health plans scheduled to be cancelled due to Obamacare another year, after outcry over millions of cancellations. Many states and several insurers rejected the option to extend plans. (RELATED: Democratic frustration not fully mollified by Obamacare administrative fix)
NOVEMBER 21, 2013: The Obama administration pushes back the 2015 enrollment period one month until after the November midterm elections. Enrollment for 2015 coverage was supposed to begin October 15, but will now open November 15 instead, supposedly to give insurers more time to evaluate their performance in the first enrollment. (RELATED: Obamacare’s 2015 open enrollment pushed to after the 2014 elections)
NOVEMBER 22, 2013: The Obama administration pushes back the deadline to enroll for January 1 coverage from December 15 to December 23. The weekend before the new Monday deadline, officials pushed it back another day to Christmas Eve, just in case. (RELATED: Obama changes Obamacare deadline, again)
NOVEMBER 27, 2013: The Obama administration delays its small business (SHOP) online exchange until November 2014. The marketplace for small business owners to purchase coverage for their employees was supposed to launch along with HealthCare.gov in October. (RELATED: White House delays another Obamacare mandate beyond 2014 election)
DECEMBER 12, 2013: Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius requires insurers to accept payment for January 1 coverage until December 31, instead of the initial deadline of December 23. The administration then delayed the payment deadline again, requiring retroactive coverage for anyone who paid a premium by January 10.
DECEMBER 19, 2013: The Obama administration delays the individual mandate by one year for those Americans whose health insurance was cancelled by Obamacare regulations. Individuals with cancelled plans are allowed to claim a “hardship exemption” due to the health care law’s regulations for all of 2014. (RELATED: White House to offer another individual mandate exemption)
JANUARY 18, 2014: Reports emerge that the IRS will continue to delay enforcement of a provision banning employers from offering its highly compensated employees cushier health benefits than its lower-level workers. The so-called discrimination ban, which was supposed to be implemented in late 2010, has been pushed off repeatedly and its not clear when it will be enforced. (RELATED: Will it ever stop? Another Obamacare provision for employers delayed)
FEBRUARY 10, 2014: The Treasury Department pushes back enforcement of the employer mandate for medium-sized employers, with 50 to 99 employees, to offer health insurance to full-time workers until 2016. In July 2013, the employer mandate was first pushed back to 2015 for all businesses. (RELATED: White House postpones Obamacare’s employer mandate until after midterm elections; Obamacare official: No more delays of employer mandate implementation; Obama admin announces another employer mandate delay)
MARCH 14, 2014: The Obama administration pushes back the deadline for the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Program (PCIP) for the third time. The temporary program was supposed to expire January 1, 2014 — the first day participants could receive coverage under Obamacare exchanges instead, but was pushed back first to January 31, then March 31, and can now maintain coverage until April 30. (RELATED: Another Obamacare provision delayed a third time; Yet another Obamacare deadline pushed back)
MARCH 18, 2014: Maryland extends the enrollment deadline for some consumers. Similar to the federal extension, only Marylanders that call a hotline before March 31 to claim problems enrolling online will be able to sign up for health coverage after time should be up.
MARCH 21, 2014: Nevada announces that it will extend enrollment by 60 days for its state exchange. Nevada is still experiencing technological problems akin to the earliest days of HealthCare.gov and is having trouble communicating coverage between the exchange and insurers. (RELATED: Another state extends Obamacare enrollment deadline)
MARCH 25, 2014: The Obama administration extends its enrollment deadline, letting consumers who already began the HealthCare.gov online initiation check a box stating that they were unable to enroll before the deadline. They’ll have until mid-April to sign up. (RELATED: White House extends Obamacare deadline yet again)
MARCH 26, 2014: The Obama administration allows the Oregon state exchange to extend its open enrollment period for 30 days. Cover Oregon experience more serious technological problems than almost any other state and still has yet to open a website for individual online enrollment. (RELATED: Oregon Obamacare exchange gets month-long enrollment delay)
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