In a post on Friday, we posed the question, “Could the administration delay the individual mandate?” The administration has delayed and/or declined to enforce a number of Obamacare provisions and regulations, the most recent of which was allowing insurers to extend health plans that were to be outlawed this year.
Obamacare, for the most part, has been gutted. But the individual mandate, its central provision, has remained untouched, at least until now. The Wall Street Journal notes that the Department of Health and Human Services has ostensibly delayed enforcement of the individual mandate for Americans who claim a “hardship” in trying to find a insurance (emphasis added):
ObamaCare’s implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act—the individual mandate. To wit, last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty.
[A]mid the post-rollout political backlash, last week the agency created a new category: Now all you need to do is fill out a form attesting that your plan was cancelled and that you “believe that the plan options available in the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy” or “you consider other available policies unaffordable.”