Franken open to individual mandate delay

November 22, 2013

FILE: Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) says he would be open to a brief delay in the individual mandate if the problems with HealthCare.gov aren't fixed by the end of the month, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

"I think then we have to consider extending the deadline for the mandate, but let’s hope that doesn't happen," Franken told MPR.

Franken has so far been relatively quiet about potential changes to the health-care law, but he now joins a growing group of Senate Democrats in seats that could be targeted by the GOP in 2014 who are speaking up on the issue.

While the GOP is mostly focused on winning a half dozen red states held by Democrats, there are another group of Democratic-controlled swing states and nominally blue states that have formed the second tier of GOP targets. Democrats facing reelection in these states in 2014 -- Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Jeff Merkley (R-Ore.) -- have pushed for changes ranging from allowing people to keep their current insurance plans to extending the open enrollment period.

Two House Democrats running for open seats -- Iowa's Bruce Braley and Michigan's Gary Peters -- also voted for a House GOP bill that would achieve the former goal.

It's not clear how many of HealthCare.gov's problems will be fixed by Dec. 1 -- the deadline the administration set for the site working for the "vast majority" of users.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · November 22, 2013