POLITICS
10/23/2013 12:42 am ET Updated Oct 23, 2013

Jeanne Shaheen Calls For Obamacare Enrollment Deadline Extension

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) called on the White House Tuesday to extend the open enrollment deadline for Obamacare because of the government's glitchy website rollout.

In a letter to the White House obtained by Politico, Shaheen said her constituents have faced "incredibly frustrating and disappointing" issues with HealthCare.gov, which had been billed by President Barack Obama as a one-stop marketplace for health insurance.

"As website glitches persist, we are losing valuable time to educate and enroll people in insurance plans," Shaheen wrote. "I also fear that people that have tried, and failed, to enroll online may become frustrated and not return to the website to try again at a later date."

Uninsured Americans have until March 31 to sign up for a health care plan, or face a penalty. Shaheen is the first Democrat to support an extension of the enrollment deadline.

On Tuesday, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he would introduce a bill with a similar premise -- calling for a delay to the penalty that uninsured Americans will face if they do not sign up for insurance before the March deadline. He appeared on CBS' "This Morning" to express qualms with the penalty.

"It's not fair to punish people for not buying something that's not available," Rubio said.

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