Did anyone really doubt that the final Obamacare enrollment deadline would slip, too?
It’s not like the Obama administration is setting a new precedent with its latest move — giving customers more time to enroll after next Monday’s deadline if they’re already in line.
In reality, the administration is just continuing a long pattern of delays. They’re all designed to show flexibility and help the law work better, but they also fuel a public perception that Obamacare deadlines never really mean anything.
The administration already went through the same exercise in December, cutting people some slack if they were stuck in cyber-traffic by the deadline for Jan. 1 coverage. Then and now, administration officials argued that it’s only fair to give people extra time if they were held up by the volume of last-minute sign-ups.
But the list of delays covers so much more. The administration has bent deadlines for the employer mandate (twice), put off the launch of the Spanish-language enrollment site, and even delayed the enrollment season for 2015 — pushing it off until after the November mid-term elections.
Working backwards, here’s a brief history of some of the most prominent Obamacare delays: