House Speaker John Boehner wondered aloud on Wednesday if the Obama administration’s latest extension in enrollment for health insurance was a “joke.”
Late Tuesday night, the administration announced it would offer extensions to prospective enrollees who begin the sign-up process before the March 31 deadline. People will have until mid-April to apply for extensions, many of which will be granted on the basis of an “honour system” for those who claim they tried to enroll ahead of the initial deadline.
Boehner didn’t mince words when he was asked about it Wednesday.
“What the hell is this? A joke?” he said. “Another deadline made meaningless. If he hasn’t put enough loopholes in the law already, the administration is now resorting to an honour system to enforce it.”
Boehner wondered why the administration wouldn’t move the deadline to April 15. The administration stressed in its announcement that it was not delaying the law but simply providing more time to an expected surge in interest ahead of the deadline. An official emphasised, however, that it was not an extension in the open enrollment period.
Boehner’s comments led to more partisan bickering. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer tweeted that Boehner and other Republicans opposed the change out of spite. At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid retorted the “real joke” is House Republicans continuing to vote to repeal or alter Obamacare.
“There are some people who are not like my grandchildren who can handle everything so easily on the Internet,” Reid said. “And these people need a little extra time.” Some people, he added, are “not educated on how to use the Internet.”
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