Obamacare has already weathered a government shutdown and threats of a debt crisis, and next week Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) plans to propose a another challenge to the health care law’s individual mandate.
Rubio released a statement Monday announcing plans to introduce legislation that would delay the health care law’s individual mandate until several months after its web portal gets up to speed.
HealthCare.gov has come under withering criticism for its glitchy rollout, and President Barack Obama owned up to that setback in a speech Monday morning even as he defended the law as “not just a website.”
Rubio’s full statement:
“It is not fair that next year Americans will be punished for not buying ObamaCare when the website they are supposed to buy it on doesn’t work. That is why I will offer legislation to delay the individual mandate to buy insurance until the GAO certifies that the ObamaCare exchange website has been fixed and fully functional for at least six months.
“I believe this entire law should, and will, eventually be repealed and replaced. But until that happens, I will continue looking for ways to protect Americans from the disaster that is ObamaCare.
“The legislation, which will be introduced when the U.S. Senate reconvenes next week, would delay the individual mandate until six months after the GAO certifies the websites and all other sign-up options (phone, mail, fax) are fully functional. Thereafter, it exempts people from paying the mandate fines if they can prove that they tried to sign up but could not because of technical or customer service issues.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.