Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D.-Conn., expressed frustration with the Obama administration over its rollout of the health care law and sided with a growing group of democratic lawmakers who are pressuring the White House to delay the penalty for not buying insurance.
“We have to consider delaying the mandate, that is, the penalty,” Blumenthal said Thursday on Jansing & Co.
Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals who refuse to buy insurance are taxed under a portion of the law known as the individual mandate.
NBC News confirmed Wednesday that the White House intends to push back the deadline for individuals to buy insurance by as much as six weeks. Blumenthal said that the length of the delay should depend on “how soon these glitches are going to be solved.”
“If it’s a matter of days, then the delay would be different than if it’s a matter of months, but the important point here is that we need more certainty, and we need to know what the facts are,” Blumenthal said. He criticized the Obama administration, saying members “haven’t leveled with the United States Senate” with regard to technical failures of the website used to register for health insurance, which opened on Oct. 1. Blumenthal said the administration has not yet briefed lawmakers on the cause of the problems with the website.