This thing we call a mandate, says the WSJ;
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also happened to testify Wednesday in front of the HouseWays and Means Committee, and Tennessee Republican Diane Black asked about "ObamaCare's Secret Mandate Exemption" (March 12). Ms. Sebelius said she hadn't read the editorial but did call Ms. Black's gloss "not accurate"—before going on to confirm that it was, in fact, accurate.
"The hardship exemption was part of the law from the outset," the Secretary said. "There was a specific rationale there, and it starts with the notion that if you can't afford coverage you are not obligated to buy coverage." That's true: But in December last year HHS ruled that itself was a hardship; people whose coverage was cancelled and believe the new plans are unaffordable were thus relieved of the requirement to buy insurance or else pay a penalty for the law's first year. Our scoop was that HHS last week quietly extended this dispensation until 2016.Smells like defeat.