Pelosi says no to Democrat's proposal for health extension

McClatchy Washington BureauOctober 23, 2013 

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., broke with fellow Democrats and urged the White House to extend the health care open enrollment period, but House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was not enthusiastic about the idea.

Shaheen Tuesday wrote a letter to President Barack Obama saying the extension would “provide greater flexibility for the American people seeking to access health insurance.”

She also said the White House needs to clarify how the “individual responsibility penalty will be administered and enforced” as the website continues to have trouble.

“The difficulty that people in New Hampshire and in other states that are relying on the federally facilitated marketplaces are experiencing is incredibly frustrating and disappointing,” she added.

The idea was warmly received by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who's also Democratic party chair.

Asked by MSNBC's Chuck Todd if there should be "openness to extending the open enrollment," she said, "There should absolutely be an openness to extending the open enrollment period. I don't think there's anything wrong with that."

Todd also asked about changes in the penalty. "If we can extend the open enrollment period and make sure we can move forward with implementation that's the goal," Wasserman Schultz said. "The goal is to give people the time they need to shop around, to make comparisons, to get covered."

Pelosi, speaking at her weekly news conference, said "I don't support that. Perhaps the experience in her state -- she's acting from that experience. In covered California, we're moving along, the largest state in the union, rolling along in a very positive way on it.

"So I think we should try to fix what we have, move forward with the deadline we have, respectful of what her experience may be and her suggestion, but not supportive of it."


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