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'Delay’ suddenly not a dirty word at White House

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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Buzz Cut:
• ‘Delay’ suddenly not a dirty word at White House
• More ObamaCare disruptions ahead
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• Trumka warns Dems on entitlements
• Ah, hipsters

WHITE HOUSE OPENS DOOR TO OBAMACARE DELAY - As the federal government teetered on the brink of shutdown at the end of last month, the White House and Senate Democrats flatly refused a Republican emergency spending bill that would have kept the government open but delayed ObamaCare’s requirement that individuals purchase health insurance by March 31 or face a fine. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded to a GOP counteroffer by saying Republicans had “lost their minds.” But after an epic failure of a launch for the new health insurance entitlement and with the partial shutdown over, “delay” suddenly isn’t a dirty word anymore. With many of those subject to the fine unable to sign up due to manifold botches in the enrollment process, Democrats are warming up to the idea.

[A new ABC/WaPo poll finds 54 percent of respondents believe the problems plaguing ObamaCare’s Web site reflect a larger problem with President Obama’s signature entitlement program.]

Delay tactics - After President Obama owned up to the fact that the main Web site for enrollment is not working as it should, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked if the administration is looking for flexibility in applying the mandate. Carney indicated that a delay was not just possible, but that it may already be allowed by the law: “The law is clear that if you do not have access to affordable health insurance then you will not be asked to pay a penalty because you haven’t purchased affordable health insurance.” It would stand to reason that if the president claims the power to delay the fines for large employers by a year, as he already did, he could claim the power to pardon individuals.

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Chris Stirewalt

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