Waxman: Nobody Should Be Penalized Under Obamacare If They Can’t Access The Exchanges

Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.), a vocal defender of Obamacare throughout its passing in Congress and troubled implementation, called for a delay of the individual mandate Thursday, saying nobody should be penalized if they haven't been able to get access to the exchanges:

HENRY WAXMAN: One of the reasons that we were given that the website didn't work is that it crashed when so many people were trying to access it. We know that people want to shop and have a choice between different health insurance plans that are being offered to them and have already been lined up to offer them, private health insurance. We're encouraging our constituents to use other means of signing up in the meantime, like call centers and written applications while the website problems are being fixed. We are pressing the administration to redouble their efforts to fix the website, and we welcome yesterday's announcement giving Americans more time to sign up for the insurance. Everyone has a responsibility to get health insurance. We expect people to observe that responsibility, but I cannot see that anyone is going to be penalized under the law if they have not been able to buy health insurance during this time where they have not had access to the exchanges. We need to start listening to our people who sent us to Congress. They don't want the government shut down. They don't want Congress to drive the country to the brink of default. They want this law to work, but they do want us to make sure that we hold everybody accountable and insist that the law and the promise of affordable health care become a reality for all Americans.