Republicans are obsessed with Obamacare delays. Some of the delays have been helpful to allow for orderly transition to the new rules. The latest, allowing people to complete the process if they started an application for insurance before the deadline, seems like common sense and basic fairness (which might be why Republicans have such a problem with it). NBC News pointed out that George W. Bush also had a similar delay with the Medicare D program:
As Republicans complain about the Obama administration’s latest deadline extension for Americans to purchase health insurance, Democrats are countering with this reminder: The Bush administration did something similar in 2006.
Back then, as it was implementing the Medicare prescription-drug benefit Bush had signed into law, the GOP presidential administration announced it was waiving penalties for low-income seniors and those with disabilities who signed up late.
As one Knight Ridder report put it at the time:
The move follows a recent administration decision to allow the same impoverished beneficiaries to sign up for Medicare drug coverage until Dec. 31.
“In other words, you can apply after May 15th without penalty. And that’s important for low-income seniors to understand,” President Bush told a group of older Americans in Sun City Center, Fla., on Tuesday.
There’s one key difference between Bush’s Medicare prescription-drug benefit and Obama’s health-care law: Democrats didn’t try to scuttle the Medicare law’s implementation (especially since some of them had voted for it), while the same isn’t exactly true of GOP actions regarding the health-care law.
But the 2006 story is a reminder that when it comes to the implementation of complex new laws, both Democratic and Republican administration have changed the rules to encourage enrollment.
Republicans who complain about delays in the Affordable Care Act under Obama had no problem with a comparable delay under George Bush, showing once again that their positions are motivated by opposition to Obama and not any higher principles.