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Citing Website Problems, Barrow Calls for Delay of the Individual Mandate


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) today called for a delay of the requirement for individuals to purchase health coverage as required by the Affordable Care Act. Since the enrollment website was launched on October 1, 2013, users have faced numerous technical difficulties. Earlier this year, the Administration provided a one year delay of the employer mandate in the law. Congressman Barrow called for the same delay for individuals in his floor speech.

Congressman Barrow has been a leader in efforts to reform the health care law. He is the lead Democratic cosponsor of legislation to repeal the employer mandate, and introduced legislation on the first day of the 113th Congress to repeal the individual mandate. In addition, Congressman Barrow has voted to delay these provisions within the law, while preserving benefits members of Congress of both parties agree we should keep.

The complete text of Congressman Barrow's remarks, as prepared for delivery are below:

M. Speaker,

Since October 1st, millions of Americans have attempted to access healthcare [dot] gov to try to learn about the health insurance coverage they're required to buy. And every day, we're learning more and more about the problems they're facing. Folks are frustrated, and rightfully so.

I'm proud to be a part of a bipartisan effort to reform the law by repealing the mandate that employers provide coverage they can't afford, and the mandate that individuals buy insurance on their own.

Earlier this year, the Administration delayed the employer mandate, because businesses across the country just weren't ready. But not the individual mandate. At the very least, our constituents deserve the same relief that businesses got.

This isn't about pointing fingers. This is about providing some relief to the folks we represent who are facing serious uncertainty because they're being forced to buy something that's not ready.

I urge my colleagues and the Administration to delay the individual mandate. It's not only the right thing to do, it's the only practical thing to do.

And I yield back.

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