WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., is unhappy about an extension to allow people to keep signing up for health care coverage through healthcare.gov
The Obama Administration announced Tuesday people who have been trying to apply for health care through healthcare.gov will have the opportunity to finish applying after the official deadline Monday, according to the Associated Press. Officials said the extended time will be available to people using the honor system, meaning applicants will have to prove that special circumstances prevented them from signing up for the service before the deadline.
“We are experiencing a surge in demand and are making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment, either online or over the phone,” Aaron Albright, Health and Human Services spokesman, said, according to the Associated Press.
But Jenkins isn’t buying it, and said the law isn’t helping the American people.
“Four years after becoming law, and days before the end of the open enrollment period, the president issued yet another unilateral delay of his law,” Jenkins said. “One thing is clear: This law has not worked for the American people.”
Jenkins said the extension is another broken promise to the American people. She said her bill, known as HR 4118 or The Simple Fairness Act, was passed with bipartisan support and will bring fairness to all Americans. The legislation would make the individual mandate penalty under the Affordable Care Act zero for 2014. If passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Obama, individuals would be exempt from tax penalties mandated by the law. President Obama said he would veto the bill if it made it through the Senate.
“Sadly, we have another broken promise, and a president who refuses to work with Congress to fix his law,” she said.
The White House is trying to meet its goal to sign up 6 million Americans through the online markets that offer subsidized private health insurance to people without access to coverage from work, according to the Associated Press. The healthcare.gov website received 1 million visitors Monday, and the administration wants to prevent a potential repeat of the website crashing, as it did in the fall — a failure that caused controversy over the accessibility and reliability of the system.
More than 5 million Americans have enrolled in the service.