Dr. Boozman's Check-up

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette (subscription required) reported today that fewer than 200 people have signed up for health care coverage through the exchanges. Insurance company executives blamed problems with Healthcare.gov, the federal website we have to use to sign residents up for the exchanges.

The Administration wants to brush these troubles off as a small bump in the road to implementation. In reality, what the Administration calls “glitches” may have a detrimental impact on the pocketbook of everyday Americans.  

The clock is ticking. Every American who is not enrolled in Administration-approved medical insurance by the end of March will be taxed. Yet, the Administration’s failures make compliance impossible for millions of Americans. Instead of acknowledging this error, the President and his team plan to subject Americans to this unjust tax if they do not comply by March 31, 2014, despite the fact that the administration has failed to make the website work.

This is all the more reason why every American should be granted a reprieve from Obamacare. This week, I joined Senator Marco Rubio and seven of our colleagues to introduce the Delay Until Fully Functional Act. This bill would delay the individual mandate until six months after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) certifies that the exchange website is fully functional.

Certainly the rollout of the Obamacare website has been nothing short of a disaster. However, Healthcare.gov is a microcosm of the serious problems created by putting a government bureaucracy in charge of our health care. Setting up and thoroughly testing a fully-operational website prior to launching it should be the easy part. The fact that the Administration can’t deliver on the easiest of its healthcare promises doesn’t bode well for Americans forced into this bureaucratic monstrosity. It is safe to say that there will be more problems if we continue to move forward, even for those “lucky” few who can sign-up before the deadline.

Until we can achieve the real solution of repealing this law and replacing it with market-based reforms, delaying the individual mandate is the only fair course of action.