The name of the legislation — the “Fairness in Failed Federal Exchanges Act” — gives a pretty good idea why Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) thinks that Americans should have a reprieve from Obamacare fines, at least until the system is proved to be up and running as intended. We’re guessing today’s testimony from HealthCare.gov contractor CGI Federal didn’t do much to reassure her that was going to happen any time soon, or even next year.
In short, the legislation would exempt individuals from paying the Obamacare noncompliance fine in 2014 and beyond if they attest that they’ve been unable to enroll in an exchange due to technical problems. Ellmers issued a brief but stern statement that included the word “trainwreck”:
The American people deserve a reprieve from the failures of the Obama administration and should not be penalized because the White House can’t build a functioning website. That’s why today I have introduced legislation that will provide a way out of this mess and offer some sanity to the pathetic rollout of this terrible law. The Fairness in Failed Federal Exchange Act will exempt people from the individual mandate penalty and protect them from facing unjust fines and penalties because of this trainwreck.