From the Heritage Foundation:
- “We have no plans to extend the open enrollment period. In fact, we don’t actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014.” — Health and Human Services (HHS) official Julie Bataille, March 11
- “Once that 2014 open enrollment period has been set, they are set permanently.” – HHS official Michael Hash, March 11
- “March 31st is the deadline for enrollment. You’ve heard us make that clear.” – Press Secretary Jay Carney, March 21
- “There is no delay beyond March 31.” – HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, March 12
And now, of course, the regime mouthpiece, the Washington Post has reported,
The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.
Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.
Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.
The rules, which will apply to the federal exchanges operating in three dozen states, will essentially create a large loophole even as White House officials have repeatedly said that the March 31 deadline was firm. The extra time will not technically alter the deadline but will create a broad new category of people eligible for what’s known as a special enrollment period.
That “technicality” at the end proves that the Administration knows that it is usurping legislative authority to itself. At the very least it needs to be argued in court that the rationale is not sufficient. The Obama Administration is shredding the Constitution by assuming legislative powers in the Executive Branch.
Of course, Congress, rather than taking action to stop Obama, acts like it needs to pass legislation to defend its prerogatives from Obama. Someone needs to remind them that the Constitution is not a self-enforcing document.
Step up, people! Do your job.
Finally, remember, on September 21, 2013, the Republicans in Congress offered a full budget to keep the government running in exchange for a legal one-year delay in the individual mandate for Obamacare. Harry Reid killed the bill in the Senate and shut down the government.
For what? So they could delay it by illegal executive action.