Topics: Obamacare

John Boehner: Obama making a joke out of health law with latest delay

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Politics,Congress,Susan Ferrechio,Barack Obama,Obamacare,John Boehner,Health Care,PennAve

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Tuesday mocked the latest move by the Obama administration to delay the implementation of the health care law.

The administration has made two dozen adjustments to the law, including one Monday that would allow people to sign up for health insurance two weeks past the March 31 deadline.

“What the hell is this, a joke?” Boehner exclaimed to a room full of reporters at his weekly press conference.

Republicans and critics of the law have denounced the president’s decision to delay parts of his signature reform plan, saying it circumvents the law.

Boehner called the latest change “another deadline made meaningless” and added that the Obama administration is relying on “an honor system” to enforce it.

The administration is desperate to enroll as many people as possible before the deadline, in particular the young and healthy who are needed to help keep insurance premiums stable.

The latest change allows an additional two weeks for consumers who have started to apply for health insurance but have not finished by March 31.

The healthcare.gov website has been plagued with problems, although it has become more efficient in recent weeks.

As Boehner was criticizing the move, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., denounced it in a Senate floor speech, saying the individual mandate may not even be viable because Obama has granted so many different waivers.

“It’s basically become the equivalent of Swiss cheese,” McConnell said.

A reporter asked Boehner whether, given the problems with the website, it made sense for Obama to give people some extra time to sign up.

“Because the law says that enrollment stops at the end of March,” Boehner answered. “That's what the law says. You know, I've got to live by the law. You've got to live by the law. The American people have to live by the law. And guess what? The president needs to live by the law as well.”

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