A growing chorus of Senate Democrats are raising concerns about implementing the president's health care law on schedule as problems with the Healthcare.gov web site persist.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is drafting a bill to delay the health insurance law's individual mandate for a year, his spokesman said Wednesday.
And three Senate Democrats -- Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Begich and Mark Pryor -- indicated they support extending the open enrollment period to allow people more time to get coverage.
Manchin doesn't support delaying the mandate for more than a year, and doesn't want to go as far as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has proposed delaying the mandate until the GAO certifies that the website is up and running. But Manchin does want to delay the first year of penalties for consumers who don't carry health insurance. And it does have bipartisan support: Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia is working with Manchin on the proposal.
This isn't a new position for Manchin, who said last month that he would back a delay of the law -- even before Healthcare.gov's unsuccessful launch. And the bill won't end up on the Senate floor without support from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and that's unlikely.
But other Democrats are also raising concerns. Shaheen wrote a letter to the administration on Wednesday calling for an extension of the open enrollment period. And two senators up for reelection in 2014 -- Pryor and Begich, both considered top Republican targets -- support her proposal. Pryor issued a written statement and a Begich spokeswoman confirmed his support for the idea to NBC News.
Manchin will appear Wednesday on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" to discuss his proposal.
First published October 23 2013, 3:15 PM