HEALTH

Affordable Care Act: Healthcare website woes cause more delays

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - All those healthcare.gov website woes have caused yet another Affordable Care Act headache: deadline delays.

The deadline to sign up for coverage starting day one of next year had initially been December 15. On Friday, Health & Human Services delayed it to December 23.

This news came just an hour after the White House confirmed yet another delay -- enrollment for coverage in 2015 will no longer begin on October 15; instead, it will be November 15. This happens to be right after midterm elections -- a move Republicans are calling “purely political.”

"Clearly President Obama does not want voters to see increased prices, more cancellations, and decreased options under Obamacare before they go to the ballot box," said Republic Rep. and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

But the White House insists that there’s nothing nefarious about it.

"What was already gonna be a back loaded process, is gonna be even more back loaded," said White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney.

"Obama is scared stiff about his legacy… Obviously he doesn't want to see that put into pieces and disappear," said political historian Allan Lichtman .

To be fair, he continued, President Bush’s prescription drug plan had a bumpy rollout, and so did social security – but unlike now, there was at at least some bipartisanship.

"It's not the tone on the hill -- it's the shrieking on the hill," Lichtman said. "It's been terrible before, like right before the Civil War, but in modern history this is the most significant polarization we've ever seen.

And with Thursday’s invocation of the nuclear option, the Senate can now easily confirm Obama’s nominees.

As to whether he is considering replacing Kathleen Sebelius, the White House insists that the answer is no.

"You're asking, does he have confidence in her, and the answer is yes!" said Carney.

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