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Sen. Sherrod Brown: Delay Healthcare Sign-Up Deadline By Weeks If Necessary, But Not By a Year

Monday, October 28, 2013 at 5:53 PM

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Ohio’s Democratic U.S. senator calls the glitch-filled rollout of the new healthcare law “embarrassing,” but Sherrod Brown says the deadline to apply shouldn’t be delayed by a year, as some lawmakers have called for. ideastream’s Nick Castele reports.

Currently, people have until the end of March to sign up for healthcare or else face a penalty. Some lawmakers are pushing for a year delay to that deadline.

But Sen. Sherrod Brown says such a delay would give momentum to those who’d like to defund or otherwise halt the Affordable Care Act, though he says the Obama Administration deserves some blame for an online sign-up system that has often failed.

“The White House didn’t do this right,” Brown said. “They should have done it way better. They just need to give people enough time to sign up without penalty. If that means delaying two weeks or a month, fine. But not a six month or a year statutory delay.”

Brown says other parts of the law – such as the expansion of Medicaid eligibility and the provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ healthcare – ought to move ahead as scheduled.

As to the the next round of budget fights looming later this year, Brown says he’d like to guard Medicare and Social Security against cuts. He proposed generating general revenue by scaling back farm subsidy programs and closing tax loopholes for corporations.

“And put that money into infrastructure and teachers and firefighters and police officers and public transit and highways and all the things that create jobs…that’s what will bring the deficit down,” he said.

The House and Senate are supposed to reach a budget agreement by mid-December. 

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