White House Confirms Americans Have Until March 31 to Comply
Tax Penalty for Individuals Who Don't Purchase Remains
(Washington, DC) – Last night the White House announced a clarification of the rule mandating that all Americans purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (also called the ACA or Obamacare). The deadline by which policies must be purchased to avoid the penalty was originally believed to be February 15, 2014, but under the clarification, Americans will have until March 31. This small clarification comes as doctors struggle to decide whether to participate in the ACA, as hundreds of thousands are losing their current insurance policies, as low-income workers are forced into part-time work, and as more in Congress call for the President to hold someone accountable for the disastrous rollout of the law.
This refusal to deal with the real problems of the law is disconnected from the current debate. Hearings are underway in Congress to determine how hundreds of millions in taxpayer money was wasted on a website that does not work. One staunch supporter of the law is seeking a waiver for a large part of his Congressional district, where high premiums have kept residents from purchasing insurance policies off the exchanges. A number of Senate Democrats are pushing for significant changes to implementation of the ACA. This announcement shows a lack of understanding of where the people and the Congress currently stand.
Daniel Garza , Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:
"Even after recognizing publicly the obvious failure of the ACA rollout, the President still insists on plowing ahead with the individual mandate – without giving individuals the exemption he gave large employers. All the Administration has done is clarify that Americans have an extra six weeks to comply with the mandate to buy insurance – under threat of a tax penalty that starts at a minimum of $95 and rises each year. This refusal to delay the mandate is an unfair decision based on the failure of his administration to provide a functional website. Even members of his own party are admitting the mandate should be delayed. When will the President acknowledge the problems with the law and commit to addressing them?
Americans are getting a look at the options available to them under the ACA and rejecting them. Barely a quarter of uninsured people plan to purchase health care in the exchanges over the next six months. That's a strong signal that the law is not helping those it was intended to help. And at the same time, it is slowing economic growth, costing low-income workers full – time employment, and cancelling the care that many currently enjoy. It is time for the President to stop standing on the sidelines and keep his promise to Americans."