As Obamacare is delayed, yet again, until after the 2014 midterm elections, Republicans are accusing Obama of playing politics.
After weeks of problems with the less-than-smooth rollout of Obamacare, the White House came out swinging on Friday, announcing the open enrollment for 2014 was being pushed back, from October 15, 2014 until November 15, 2014.
Coincidentally, the date happens to be 11 days after the November 4 crucial elections.
Republicans argue Obamacare was delayed because the White House is afraid that the steep rise in premiums will have an impact on getting Democrats, who are fighting for their political life, elected next year.
President Obama is trying to undo the damage done by the disastrous Obamacare rollout, which has given him the lowest approval numbers in his Presidency in recent polls, putting him as low as 37 percent rating.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made the announcement on Friday, which allows Americans to start signing up for open enrollment beginning on November 15, 2014.
Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the latest delay in Obamacare is a cynical political move, as the public will not be aware of what Republicans expect to be a steep rise in premiums, until after the elections.
“This is clearly a cynical political move by the Obama administration to use extra-regulatory, by any means necessary tools to keep this program afloat and hide key information from voters.” Grassley says.
For his part Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, says delaying Obamacare is an effort by the White House to protect Democrats who supported the law and are up for re-election in 2014.
“The only American consumers this change will help are Democratic politicians who voted for Obamacare, because it delays disclosure of some of the law’s most insidious effects until after the election,” Alexander said in a statement.
The Senator announced the would introduce legislation that would allow insurance companies to provide Americans with “proper notices” of premium hikes prior to open enrollment.
The Obamacare delay announcement comes after weeks of controversy, including a press conference by President Obama, during which struggled to explain why he had not been able to keep his promise of: “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan, period.”
“This change is good news for consumers, who will have more time to learn about plans before enrolling and an open enrollment period that’s a week longer,” an HHS official tells Fox News.
White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney insisted on Friday that the delay in Obamacare is not political, but aimed to give insurers more time to determine rates based on the new pool of customers.
On a separate announcement, the White House delayed Obamacare enrollment for 2013 until December 23, after Republicans have been calling for a delay of a year due to the failures of Healthcare.gov, which have not allowed people to register in the exchanges.
Do you think the 2014 delay in Obamacare is a political move by the White House.