Last month, the Obama administration said it lacked “the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period” for Obamacare. Moreover, when embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) during testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee if she planned to delay the Obamacare enrollment deadline, Sebelius said flatly, “No, sir.”
On Tuesday, however, the White House announced it has decided to extend Obamacare’s open enrollment period another two to three weeks, marking this at least the 29th Obamacare delay. The White House says it plans to use the “honor system” for those wishing to enroll past the March 31 deadline. According to the Washington Post, the Obama White House will “not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.”
The Obama administration’s deadline extension is merely the latest in what has become a regular pattern of delays and blown deadlines. Insurance executives say they are frustrated with the White House’s endless changes because they affect their ability to accurately analyze risk pools for enrollees to calculate and project future premium rates.
“We’re exasperated,” one senior insurance executive told The Hill. “All of these major delays on very significant portions of the law are going to change what it’s going to cost.”
Insurance industry officials now predict that many Obamacare premiums will double over the next several months leading up to the Nov. 4 midterm elections.