Initially the partial government shutdown was about defunding Obamacare. But then the House passed a bill funding government but delaying the Obamacare individual mandate for one year. The Democrats dismissed that and allowed the shutdown to continue. Now they’re pushing to delay the mandate for a year, so why did they shut down the government?
In the wake of the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov, the website where consumers can purchase health insurance, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has begun drafting a bill that would delay the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate by a year, his office confirmed.
It’s unclear what the Manchin-sponsored legislation would contain, but the version being floated would delay the penalty for not purchasing insurance. Customers could still purchase insurance if they wish.
Manchin’s legislation would be separate from that of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is planning to introduce a bill that would delay the mandate’s penalties until six months after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) certifies that the online exchanges are functional.
For Manchin, one of the staunchest Democratic critics of Obamacare, the position is not exactly new. As recently as September, he said he would support a year-long delay in the individual mandate — he just didn’t support that being part of negotiations surrounding the federal government shutdown.
But Democrats are increasingly becoming frustrated by the glitches that have plagued its rollout, and are becoming pressured to do something about it. (Read More)
Manchin isn’t alone in calling for a delay. Other Democrats are as well, and the administration now appears to be open to the idea. Dana Bash tweeted that every Democrat in the Senate running in 2014 is going to back another proposal to delay the mandate. So again, why did the Democrats shut down the government?