Surprise! (Obamacare Edition)

Who didn’t see this coming?

The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.

Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.

Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.

Yet another extension, yet another act undertaken by the White House that should actually require congressional approval, yet another blatantly political maneuver. And the excuse-mongering on the part of people like Harry Reid is just nothing short of laughable:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said the fault of struggling to sign up on the Obamacare exchanges didn’t lie with the faulty website, but with the people who weren’t “educated on how to use the Internet.”

Explaining the reasoning behind the latest Obamacare delay, Reid said too many people just didn’t know to use their computer properly and needed more time. Apparently, it had nothing to do with the well-documented failings of the website that have embarrassed the White House for months.

“We have hundreds of thousands of people who tried to sign up who didn’t get through,” he said. “There are some people who are not like my grandchildren who can handle everything so easily on the Internet, and these people need a little extra time. It’s not — the example they gave us is a 63-year-old woman came into the store and said, ‘I almost got it. Every time I just about got there, it would cut me off.’ We have a lot of people just like this through no fault of the Internet, but because people are not educated on how to use the Internet.”

People actually believe this?

Speaking of health care “reform,” this article tells you just about everything you need to know about the degree to which Democrats are panicking about Obamacare’s impact on their political prospects in this year’s midterm elections:

One of the nation’s leading Democratic pollsters and strategists is urging embattled House and Senate incumbents to abandon their defense of Obamacare and instead pledge to “fix it.”

Celinda Lake, whose firm Lake Research Partners provided the Democratic analysis of the new George Washington University Battleground Poll released Tuesday morning, summed up her advice to Democrats when it comes to Obamacare: “Don’t defend it.”

In unveiling the poll, she said that the new Democratic strategy should be for candidates to promise to fix the troubled system while pledging to help keep Americans out of the claws of greedy insurance firms.

“In terms of Obamacare, don’t defend it, say it was flawed from the beginning, and we’re going to fix it,” said Lake at a poll briefing hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

I seem to recall a host of Obamacare advocates telling me that Obamacare will never turn out the electoral drag on Democrats that Republicans hope it will be. But a truly popular program would never be in need of Celinda Lake’s spin. For that matter, neither would a truly popular political party.

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