By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, March 25th, Fox News and the Washington Post were reporting that the Obama Administration has extended the deadline to sign up for Obamacare. The deadline was set as March 31st. The new deadline for signing up will be April 14th.
The Washington Post is reporting that federal officials have told them 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.
The Washington Post reported that users will have a chance to check a box on the website indicating they tried to enroll before the deadline, though the government will not try to determine whether the person actually made an effort to sign up.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, better known as Obamacare, was passed because Democrats claimed that millions of Americans who wanted health insurance could not get health insurance. Senator Barack H. Obama (D) campaigned in 2008 saying that Americans who did not want to participate in the plan would not be forced to participate. Once elected, President Obama reversed that position and all Americans were ordered by law to purchase Health and Human Services Administration approved health insurance or face fines from the federal government and enforced by the powerful Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Obamacare was passed into law four years ago and the American people have been given until Monday night to comply and purchase an administration approved healthcare insurance policy or face mounting penalties when they file their 2014 taxes. That mandate has reportedly been extended for two weeks.
Subsidies were set up for low income Americans and Medicaid was expanded in many states for poor Americans. The theory however that there was pent up demand for the insurance has not been borne out by actual signups.
Despite an unprecedented ad campaign featuring sports stars and celebrities to make Americans aware that they were being ordered to sign up for the government mandated health insurance, the program has come far short of its enrollment goals. The danger for the program is that the insurance charges the same amount for healthy people as it does for people with serious health problems.
People with real health concerns are much more likely to purchase the insurance, because they are much more likely to need healthcare. Large numbers of healthy people, especially young healthy people, are needed to pay the insurance premiums to pay for the healthcare needs of un-healthy people. Most experts in the field feel that not enough healthy people are caving in to the federal government’s demands and purchasing the insurance for the pool of insurance to be viable.
Without more Americans paying the premiums, premiums will have to increase. Some experts are predicting that premiums could double or even triple in some markets as a result. Americans who do not purchase Healthcare insurance by the eventual deadline will not be allowed to purchase except in annual enrollment periods between October 15 and December 7th each year.
Many conservatives are fundamentally opposed to Obamacare and want to see it repealed atall costs. Sixth District Congressional Candidate Dr. Chad Mathis (R) wrote recently, “Obamacare, which I’ve read cover to cover, is a blatant assault on free-market health care that puts government between doctor and patient. As a physician, I’ve lived the consequences of this bad policy.”
The administration has repeatedly extended deadlines for Obamacare. Millions of Americans who had health insurance prior to Obamacare have lost their coverage due to their plans going away or their employer cutting healthcare coverage.