The Times manages to keep a straight face while telling us that
Health Mandate Won’t Be Delayed, Sebelius Says
Yeah, yeah, I bet she did, too. To the text!
WASHINGTON — Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said Wednesday that the Obama administration would not extend the deadline for people to sign up for health insurance or delay the requirement for most Americans to have coverage.
And she declined to say whether the administration was still committed to its original goal of enrolling seven million people in private coverage through federal and state exchanges by March 31.
Testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee, Ms. Sebelius said categorically that the administration would not delay the “individual mandate,” under which most Americans must have insurance or pay a tax penalty. In addition, she said that officials would not extend the six-month open enrollment period, scheduled to end on March 31.
Right. As the WSJ recently reported (but not the Times), the new rules allow pretty much anyone who wants to opt out to claim a hardship exemption. Per the hardship exemption form the easiest claim for a beleaguered middle-class, middle-income non-complier is probably
(3) You received a shut-off notice from a utility.
The required documentation is:
Copy of shut-off notice from a utility company
No need to shiver in the dark. I have received a few of these disconnect letters over the many years. Forget to pay a few bills, maybe take a vacation a month later, and eventually the tone of their letters changes from peppy to snippy. At which point, memory suitably jogged, I pay them. To quote a great leader, ooops.
So anybody with a bit pf a planning horizon can easily pick up a disconnect letter or two. A claim of domestic violence requires no documentation at all, but I would not suggest putting that allegation in any kind of official document unless it were true.
And people who had other insurance cancelled can simply assert that they consider the new alternatives unaffordable.
This next bit is poignant:
However, a few Democrats also expressed disappointment and frustration at the way the health law was being carried out. “So much of the original promise of the Affordable Care Act has been undermined by faulty implementation that has sometimes been indifferent to local concerns,” said Representative Lloyd Doggett, Democrat of Texas.
“At best,” Mr. Doggett said, “less than 10 percent of exchange-eligible Texans have selected a plan. In other words, more than 90 percent of the people whom we wrote this law to get exchange coverage have not been covered.” In parts of the state, he said, it is nearly impossible for consumers to obtain “in-person assistance” in selecting a health care plan.
Do keep in mind, Democrats oppose Voter ID laws because they think their constituents won't be able to figure out how to comply by getting a photo ID. Yet they were expected to navigate the HealthCare.fail / Medicaid maze? Maybe the Dems were on to something here...