On Thursday, representatives of the federal contractors who built HealthCare.gov stated the obvious in front of a House panel: The government did not leave enough time to test the Web site before its error-filled Oct. 1 launch. The next question, a growing number of lawmakers now insist, is whether the government will leave people enough time to sign up for coverage before they are fined for lacking health insurance.
“Given the existing problems with the website,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) wrote to President Obama on Tuesday , “I urge you to consider extending open enrollment beyond the current end date of March 31, 2014.” Nine other Senate Democrats signed a similar letter. The move would delay the penalty for lacking coverage, which is set to kick in next spring. Other lawmakers want to go further, canceling the penalty for all of next year.
Neither proposal is a good idea.