The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee said Wednesday that she is open to the idea of extending the enrollment period for Obamacare in light of the problems that have made it hard for people to sign up for the new health care program.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat, said on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” that she is willing to go along with the push from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire Democrat, to allow extra time for consumers to become familiar with the Healthcare.gov website, survey their coverage options and enroll in an insurance plan.
“There should absolutely be an openness to extending the open-enrollment period, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz said. “That is the goal, to give people the time they need to shop around, to make the comparisons to get covered and to make sure when it comes to their health they can focus on staying well.”
The open-enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act started on Oct. 1 and is scheduled to end March 31, 2014. The rollout, though, has been bumpy — sparking calls from Republicans for President Obama to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and delay implementation of the law.
Ms. Wasserman Schultz said that lawmakers should not be “wasting time” calling for people to be fired or focusing on the Republican effort to “delay, repeal and stop people from getting quality affordable health coverage.”
“What the Republicans are doing here is so transparent,” she said. “They have never supported quality affordable health care coverage for everyone and they never will. So we are going to keep pressing forward to make we can ease the availability for people to make sure that health care option is available to everyone.”