US House Democrat Pelosi: Do not delay health care program, fix it


WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - The Obama administrationshould focus on fixing problems with the launch ofgovernment-run online health care insurance exchanges instead ofdelaying an enrollment deadline for the program, U.S. House ofRepresentatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said onWednesday.

"I think we should be able to go forward. I'm moreoptimistic than that. I have faith in technology and while thereare glitches, there are solutions as well," Pelosi, a Californiacongresswoman, told reporters.

Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz ofFlorida told MSNBC that she believed there "should absolutely bean openness" extending the deadline for enrolling in Obamacare.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, onTuesday wrote President Barack Obama to urge him to extend theopen enrollment period past March 31, 2014. The 2010 AffordableCare Act, known as "Obamacare," is expected to provide healthcoverage to an estimated 7 million uninsured Americans throughonline marketplaces that opened for enrollment in all 50 stateson Oct. 1.

Shaheen suggested extending open enrollment to "providegreater flexibility for the American people seeking to accesshealth insurance." Shaheen also asked the White House, in lightof difficulties with the website, to clarify howone provision of the law - that all Americans obtain healthinsurance or face a tax penalty starting next year - will beadministered and enforced.

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