Dem: Repeal votes hurt O-Care numbers

Dem: Repeal votes hurt O-Care numbers
© Anne Wernikoff

Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonDems push Chao on aviation oversight after death on Southwest flight Delta flight returns to Atlanta over smoking engine Dem calls for aviation safety hearing after death on Southwest flight MORE (D-D.C) on Monday said the repeal efforts of House Republicans are partly to blame for the low ObamaCare enrollment numbers.

She said the repeated votes in the House on repealing the healthcare law convinced many people it was no longer on the books.

“What we have been battling now is first every time the House couldn't think of anything else to do, it had a big debate on repealing ObamaCare, so there are millions who think it was repealed. So there was no way to break through that very easily,” Holmes Norton told MSNBC on Monday.

“Then comes the debacle of a website, which seemed to confirm that it must have been repealed, or it should have been repealed,” she said, referring to the botched launch of HealthCare.gov.

Holmes Norton expressed confidence that the Obama administration would still meet its goal of signing up 7 million people sign up for coverage by the end of March.

“We all do the same thing — last minute — and when that fine is going to kick in, you’re going to see people trying to sign on like you’ve never seen it before.”

People had until Dec. 23 to sign up and enroll in ObamaCare to begin receiving coverage Jan. 1. The Obama administration, however, extended that deadline until Christmas Eve and pledged to accommodate people who had trouble enrolling in coverage by that date.

The next enrollment period runs until the end of March. People who lack health insurance will need to obtain some form of coverage by April to avoid the tax penalty for not complying with the healthcare law's individual mandate.