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Bridget Johnson

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October 21, 2013 - 11:23 am

Republican lawmakers are continuing their post-shutdown offensive on Obamacare’s early dysfunction, demanding to know not just how the administration launched an untested website but how much taxpayers are being charged for fixing the flubs.

“The rollout of the Obamacare website was exactly what its supporters predicted – a train wreck. To try and clean up the mess, President Obama is calling up a tech surge to overhaul the website, and sending the bill to the taxpayers,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

“The taxpayers have already shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars to build the original website. How much more money is President Obama going to demand?” Cornyn asked. “Instead of continuing to pour money into this broken law, it’s time to issue a permanent delay and work on solutions that provide real health care reform, rather than broken promises and error messages.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) warned his constituents to use caution with the Obamacare healthcare exchange site.

“It is clear the Obamacare rollout has been a disaster that has further eroded the American people’s confidence in the federal government’s ability to keep basic promises,” Rubio said. “With all the problems and errors with the ObamaCare website, people should collect as much evidence as they can from their experiences in order to protect themselves from potential fraud, double billing, and penalties once the mandate is enforced.”

“While the errors with the website have been well documented in the media, it’s important that every consumer who is unable to register keep a record of the specific errors they encounter on the website because of the threat of potential government fines for failing to enroll in the future,” Rubio added. “Make no mistake: The IRS will go after anyone who fails to meet the Obamacare requirements, so it’s important that consumers document the online problems.”

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing Thursday on the Obamacare failures. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was invited to testify but declined, citing a conflict with her schedule.

“Secretary Sebelius had time for Jon Stewart, and we expect her to have time for Congress,” Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said in a statement.

Obama said at a healthcare event today that “nobody is madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working as well as it should, which means it’s going to get fixed.”

“Even with all the problems at HealthCare.gov, the website is still working for a lot of people — just not as quick or efficient or consistent as we want. And although many of these folks have found that they had to wait longer than they wanted, once they complete the process they’re very happy with the deal that’s available to them,” he said, stressing that people can sign up by phone or in person and bypass the website.

“And, by the way, there are a lot of people who want to take advantage of this who are more comfortable working on the phone anyway or in person,” the president added.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who last week launched an investigation into the testing of the Obamacare site as well as security risks, said “somebody must be accountable for this mess, and if the president isn’t going to resign, it’s up to him to figure out who should.”

“The president is right—this law is more than a website that won’t work—it’s a Washington mandate that many Americans are finding impossible, and it’s an historic mistake that is raising premiums, forcing employees off insurance plans, increasing out-of-pocket costs, and pushing employers to cut jobs and hours,” Alexander said. “His speeches worked during the campaign, but today Americans are still no closer to understanding what has gone wrong with this website, or how it will be fixed, or whether it will be fixed in time for them to comply with the mandate.”

Rubio said he’ll file legislation delaying the individual mandate under Obamacare until six months after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) certifies that the exchange website is fully functional.

“I believe this entire law should, and will, eventually be repealed and replaced. But until that happens, I will continue looking for ways to protect Americans from the disaster that is Obamacare,” Rubio said.

“The legislation, which will be introduced when the U.S. Senate reconvenes next week, would delay the individual mandate until six months after the GAO certifies the websites and all other sign-up options (phone, mail, fax) are fully functional. Thereafter, it exempts people from paying the mandate fines if they can prove that they tried to sign up but could not because of technical or customer service issues.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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my best friend's mother makes $89/hr on the computer. She has been without a job for 10 months but last month her payment was $20701 just working on the computer for a few hours. helpful site.....www.Bay95.com
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
my best friend's step-aunt makes $68/hr on the internet. She has been fired for 8 months but last month her pay was $16664 just working on the internet for a few hours. read this post here....www.Bay95.com
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Make no mistake: The IRS will go after anyone who fails to meet the Obamacare requirements"
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Come on. Are they that stupid? That's begging for a class-action lawsuit from Obama's most demanding, "entitled" constituents.

On that note, what are the material consequences of extending the enrollment period? Anyone figured that out yet?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
First - the government has already established that they can collect fines on products that don't exist - note the Ethanol mandates and the Fuel industries.

Second - the death spiral - it prevents either a one year delay of the mandate or the fines. The healthy folks will be the first people to "wait until the last minute" to pony up those premiums, while the unhealthy folks will be the first to make sure they're enrolled and getting benefits. That creates a huge funding issue that even a low, low, low information voter will clearly understand.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
A fundamental question: are Obama and the Democrats really this incompetent? Or is this done deliberately.

In order to hide ObamaCare from voters, the administration didn't reveal the details of the law to the companies building the exchanges either, until safely after the election. As a result, the exchange designers weren't able to begin writing software until the spring. Less than six months to create a system this complex made failure inevitable. Obama would not have been re-elected otherwise, so the choice was easy.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/10/obamacare_a_planned_disaster_for_political_reasons.html#ixzz2iOH7mfMp
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
“While the errors with the website have been well documented in the media, it’s important that every consumer who is unable to register keep a record of the specific errors they encounter on the website because of the threat of potential government fines for failing to enroll in the future,” Rubio added. “Make no mistake: The IRS will go after anyone who fails to meet the Obamacare requirements, so it’s important that consumers document the online problems.”

I highly recommend a little app called "Snipping Tool" for fast and easy screen captures. It's a free download on CNET.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone else kind of curious what will happen when an identity thief uses a stolen SSN# to sign up for coverage? Will the system lock out the actual owner of the SSN#?

And what will that person's recourse be? Both the IRS and the SSA are legally barred from giving you any information regarding the use of your SSN# by an identity thief.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Very good question.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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