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Sen. Franken Open to ‘Extending the Deadline’ for Obamacare Mandate

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is the latest Democrat to suggest Congress may have take action to delay the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate if the HealthCare.gov website problems are not fixed by the current December 1st deadline.

Asked by Minnesota Public Radio what he think will need to happen if the problems persist into next month, Franken said, “I think then we have to consider extending the deadline for the mandate, but let’s hope that doesn’t happen.” He would only allow that the deadline for individuals to sign up for insurance without a penalty, currently set at March 31st, 2014 could be pushed one month, but even that he said would not be “optimal at all.”

With a Democratic Governor, Mark Dayton, and its own state-based health care exchange, MNSure, Minnesota has not faced many of the problems plaguing states that are relying solely on the federal website. A widely-cited Los Angeles Times article on Obamacare’s success in states that have embraced the law reported that “enrollment in the second half of October ran at triple the rate of the first half” for the state of Minnesota.

[h/t Washington Post]
[photo via Flickr]

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