House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi advised against the change.
“I think we should try to fix what we have, move forward with the deadline we have,” the California Democrat told reporters. “What we want to do is fix it and go forward with it, not make policies that are predicated on its not working.”
Consumers have until Dec. 15 to apply for coverage that’s effective Jan. 1. Even though open enrollment lasts until March 31, people would face a penalty if they postpone buying coverage beyond mid-February. The White House calls that a “disconnect,” and says officials will soon issue policy guidance so that if consumers sign up by the end of March they will not face a penalty. No action from Congress is needed to make that happen, the White House said.
Even if the computer problems get ironed out, the Republicans are unlikely to end their criticism. Said Boehner on Wednesday: “When you look at the problems with Obamacare, all the focus here lately has been on the website. ... I would argue the problems go much further than that.”