Pressure Mounts to Delay Obamacare Implementation

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The Obama administration is facing more pressure from both Republicans and Democrats to delay the implementation of the health law in the wake of the disastrous rollout of its website.

"The rollout has been a disaster. And so what I'm proposing is that we extend the period in which people can enroll," Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said.

Republicans are looking forward to questioning Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday, as calls for her to resign continue to grow.

"We want her to talk with us before she is out the door," Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said. "But I tell you - the incompetence in building this website is staggering."

"When I am talking to health care officials and constituents they're saying 'How can you expect the government to handle one sixth of the economy when there is this type of staggering incompetence on a website rollout?'" she added.

Sebelius is now promising the government will fix the website by the end of November.

But Republicans say the catastrophe brings into question whether the execution and delivery of Obamacare will prove equally problematic.

"I'll tell you, as a doctor, I want to make sure that patients can actually get affordable, high quality care," Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wis., said. "The website was supposed to be the easy part of this. So, I see actually this is just the tip of the iceberg of problems with bigger problems to come."

"This is an incompetent rollout, but it's symptomatic of a liberal ideology that believes government should be running our health care," Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., said. "Maybe they'll bring in Al Gore, you know, the guy who says he invented the Internet. Maybe they'll fix the website."

One debate on Capitol Hill this week--just how to effectively manage delays in the program, including delays on penalties for those remaining uninsured.

The administration has proposed extending the grace period until March 31 - an extra six weeks. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin wants a one-year delay on the penalty for non-compliance.

The government originally planned that half a million Americans would enroll for coverage this month, but it now appears the number will only be a fraction of that amount.

Meanwhile, HealthCare.gov suffered another setback over the weekend.

The federal data services hub, which verifies the personal information of people applying for benefits, went down due to a network problem.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.