Obama administration won’t rule out delaying individual mandate

Oct. 23, 2013, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement in response to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney saying that if people remain unable to access health insurance under Obamacare through Healthcare.gov they “will not be penalized” under the individual mandate:

“With the White House actively considering waiving the individual mandate for those unable to access health insurance at Healthcare.gov, congressional Republicans that fought to defund and delay implementation of the law for a year have been vindicated. This law was not ready for prime time.

“With the increasing likelihood that uninsured Americans will remain unable to sign up for Obamacare under the new regime, and up to 43 percent of them completely unaware they are required to carry health insurance under the law according to Gallup, a delay of the law was always the eminently reasonable fallback position.

“It is unconscionable that the administration would fine people for not being able to access a website it did not properly build. Moreover, nobody should be fined for refusing to purchase a product they never asked for. This was always going to be a problem under the individual mandate. Now, a delay of the entire law at a minimum is the only way to navigate the Obama administration’s incompetence.”


Oct. 21, 2013 Press Briefing with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/10/21/press-briefing-press-secretary-10212013

Q    I don’t understand the answer, though.  If the website is not fixed, will people still have to pay the fine?

MR. CARNEY:  First of all, we’re way still early in the process.  So you’re talking about a February 15th and a March 31st deadline; it is October 21st today.  So let’s be clear about that.  We’re three weeks into this.  And that’s number one.

Number two, as written, the law makes clear that people who do not have access to affordable care due to a state not expanding Medicaid or other factors will not be penalized.

Q    So other factors can be this website having the same problems?

MR. CARNEY:  Again, that’s how the law is written.

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703)383-0880 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.