The Washington Times - October 10, 2013, 08:30AM

Rep. Michele Bachmann said Thursday the new health care law should be an optional program for people who want it.

Mrs. Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, is an ardent opponent of President Obama’s signature health law, known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

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House Republicans demanded a delay to key provisions of the law as part of any short-term spending deal, but Democrats held firm, and the parties now are reeling from a government shutdown and an encroaching limit on the nation’s borrowing authority.


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Online insurance markets tied to the health care law have been plagued by technical glitches, adding fuel to critiques from Mrs. Bachmann and other Republicans, who say the law is misguided and unfairly forces people to acquire health insurance.


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“Don’t force people to buy a product they don’t want from a website that doesn’t work,” she told CNN’s “New Day.”


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She said people should be able to opt into aspects of Obamacare on their own, with the government setting aside a pool of money to help people with pre-existing conditions.


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Mr. Obama’s law requires insurers to accept people with pre-existing conditions, but critics say the individual mandate requiring Americans to gain insurance forces younger, healthier people to essentially subside sicker persons’ care.


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Authors of the law included the individual mandate to ensure that people take responsibility for their coverage if they can afford it. The idea is that the deficit would decrease in the long term, since taxpayers wouldn’t have to pick up the tab for people who use the emergency room as their go-to doctor.


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Supporters of the law note that many people are covered by their employers and that acquiring insurance on the Obamacare exchanges is optional for everyone, although those without insurance will face a tax penalty.


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