Well, it turns out that the March 31 deadline to enroll in Obamacare is merely a suggestion. And you don’t really have to pay any attention to it. Despite the adamant insistence from various members of the Obama team that no way, no how would they extend it, they just did. Unilaterally. In violation of the law. As they said they would not—could not—do, just days ago.
Let’s go to Politico.com, which reported a “brief history of the most prominent Obamacare delays:”
“March 25: Final enrollment deadline extended. The March 31 deadline — the end of enrollment for 2014 — will be loosened for people with special sign-up circumstances.
“March 14: High risk pools extended. The special, temporary coverage for people with serious pre-existing conditions — which was only supposed to last until the health insurance exchanges were in place — was extended a third time for another month.
“Feb. 10: Employer mandate delayed. This time, businesses with between 50 and 100 workers were given until 2016 to offer coverage, and the mandate will be phased in for employers with more than 100 workers.
“Jan. 14: High risk pools extended. The high-risk insurance pools, which originally had been slated to close Jan. 1, had already been extended once.
“Dec. 24, 2013: Enrollment deadline extended. In a message on HealthCare.gov, customers were told they could get help finishing their Jan. 1 applications if they were already in line on Dec. 24.
“Dec 12: Enrollment deadline extended. Customers on the federal enrollment website were given nearly two more weeks to sign up for coverage effective Jan. 1.
“Nov. 27: SHOP delayed. Online enrollment for the federal health insurance exchanges for small businesses was delayed.
“Nov. 21: Open enrollment delayed for 2015. The administration pushed back next year’s enrollment season by a month.
“July 2: Employer mandate delayed. The administration declared that it wouldn’t enforce the fines in 2014 for businesses with more than 50 full-time workers who don’t offer health coverage. The fines were pushed back to 2015.
“Nov. 15, 2012: Exchange deadline delayed. The Department of Health and Human Services gave states an extra month to decide whether they would set up their own health insurance exchanges — a decision they announced just one day before the original deadline.”
All of these changes were made without Congress, in violation of the law. But you know, whatever.
This bring us to the current extension of the deadline, based on what the administration calls “the honor system.” Don’t laugh. They will rigorously enforce “the honor system!”
Courtesy of the Weekly Standard, here’s a list of recent assurances the administration gave that they wouldn’t do what they just did:
““We have no plans to extend the open enrollment period. In fact, we don’t actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014.” — Health and Human Services (HHS) official Julie Bataille, March 11
““Once that 2014 open enrollment period has been set, they are set permanently.” – HHS official Michael Hash, March 11
““March 31st is the deadline for enrollment. You’ve heard us make that clear.” – Press Secretary Jay Carney, March 21
““There is no delay beyond March 31.” – HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, March 12
There was no delay…until there was. To get more time to sign up, you just have to tell the government that gosh golly, you tried but couldn’t do it yet:
As the “Washington Post” reports: “Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.”
This sounds a lot like the expanded hardship exemption from the individual mandate. That’s when the administration essentially said having your policy canceled by Obamacare was a new hardship that deserved an exemption. And all you have to say is that you “believe” you wouldn’t be able to afford other insurance policies available to you.
So the law is whatever they say it is, but they expect you to operate on the honor system.
There’s a word for this. Tyranny.
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