Topics: Barack Obama

Kathleen Sebelius downplays latest Obamacare delay

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health and Human Services,MSNBC,Health Care,PennAve,Employer Mandate,Kathleen Sebelius,Meghashyam Mali

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday downplayed reports that small businesses will not be able to enroll online to join Obamacare's insurance exchanges on Oct. 1.

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Now with Alex Wagner,” Sebelius said that small businesses would still be able to go online on Oct. 1 “as promised” and view their options for purchasing insurance plans.

Sebelius added that “on Nov. 1 they can go on and actually enroll in the plan that’s best for their employees.”

The one-month delay on online enrollment would have little effect, Sebelius argued, noting that the plans only kicked in on Jan. 1, 2014.

The secretary said the October to January period was “always” intended as a “lead-in time to get ready to get coverage.”

The delay for online enrollment for small businesses to select insurance plans was reported by Politico and the AP and is the latest setback to the president’s signature legislative achievement.

The delay was reported as Obama delivered a vocal defense of his health care reforms in Maryland, claiming that Obamacare is “here to stay.”

“Go check it out for yourself; make up your own mind,” Obama urged the public.

But the latest delay is likely to embolden opponents of the health care rollout and comes as conservative Republicans push efforts to defund the law.

Earlier this year, the administration said it would delay the employer mandate as well as the cap on out-of-pocket costs.

Polls show a majority of the public is confused about the law’s measures.

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