by Wynton Hall 26 Mar 2014, 1:38 PM PDT
Embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that the Obama administration's decision to extend the Obamacare open enrollment period is not, in fact, an extension.
"This is not an extension of open enrollment," Sebelius told Michigan Fox 2. "It is just saying, like you do on election day, if you're in line to vote, we want to make sure you vote."
However, unlike election day, the Washington Post says the Obama administration will give people several weeks – until mid-April – to enroll.
The Post says the Obama White House will rely on the "honor system" and will "not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth."
In congressional testimony last month before the House Ways and Means Committee, Sebelius told Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) that there would be no delay of the enrollment deadline. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille said last month that the open enrollment period would not be extended and that, "In fact, we don't actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014."
Now, however, Bataille presumably believes the Obama administration does have statutory authority.
“We are... making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment – either online or over the phone,” said Bataille.