White House Calls for Six-Week Delay in Obamacare Personal Mandate

Don't they need Congress' approval?


Amid mounting criticism, the White House said Wednesday that it plans to push back the deadline requiring Americans to purchase health insurance — a provision of the Obama administration's health care law widely known as the individual mandate — by as much as six weeks, as experts scramble to fix the technical bugs plaguing HealthCare.gov, administration officials told NBC News.

But it was not immediately clear Wednesday whether the adjustment to a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act would need to be approved by Congress or could be done by the Department of Health and Human Services administratively. 

As the law stands now, individuals are expected to begin the application process via HealthCare.gov by Feb. 15 to avoid a financial penalty. But under the prospective change, individuals will be expected to have started enrollment by March to avoid incurring the penalty.