Senator urges delaying Obamacare penalties until 2015

Dec. 22, 2013 at 2:01 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- The United States needs to be flexible in 2014 to give healthcare reform time to establish itself and make any necessary changes, a Democratic senator said.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WVa., said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday the penalties included in the so-called Obamacare plan should be waived in the coming year in order to minimize the impact on customers, insurance carriers and employers.

"This whole 2014 will be a transitional year," said Manchin, who has co-sponsored a bill delaying fines until 2015. "It is to find out where our glitches are and our little nuances that we have to work through, and find out if the market can produce the products that we need to keep this and us healthy."

Manchin said a moratorium on penalties was not so much out concern for the technical issues in the healthcare exchange Websites as it was that the policies being offered would be too expensive or not cover enough of the customers' needs. "This transitional year gives you a chance to adjust the products to the market," he said.

Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., told CNN any further chaos surrounding Obamacare would only further convince young people to blow off buying insurance. "I you think about a young people didn't want to buy insurance before, because they don't think they needed it, now it's more expensive than it was before," he said. "The penalty of non-compliance is very, very inexpensive, $100. So, you know, no matter the sales pitch ... it's going to be hard to convince young people to part with more of their money."

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