By Marianela Toledo | Florida Watchdog
MIAMI — Hispanics seeking to enroll in Obamacare will have to wait even longer.
Katherine Vargas, a White House spokeswoman, told Univision the Spanish version of healthcaregov — cuidadodesalud.gov — isn’t working as planned.
The problem has organizations such the National Council of La Raza, which has suppported Obamacare, worried about the effects of the delay.
“We are very concerned about the problems (issues) that the website has had and whether people can actually enroll themselves as easily as we thought,” Janet Murguia, NCLR president and CEO, said during a conference call.
NCLR has been instrumental in uniting various groups in its effort to promote enrollment in Obamacare, but on its website wrote this: “Despite these efforts, questions about eligibility in families with various immigrations statuses, lack of information available in Spanish, technology barriers, and questions about taxes and revenues have been reported by affiliate groups as reasons why some Latinos still haven’t taken advantage of the open enrollment period.”
Florida Watchdog tried to contact NCLR, but the group has thus far failed to respond.
The federal government says its first order of business is fixing healthcare.gov, and has said the site will fully operational by Nov. 30. If all goes as planned, Spanish speakers will have less than a month to get on board before because the program’s start date Jan. 1 To avoid fines, people who want a subsidized policy will need to register before March 31.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, doesn’t think that’s enough time.
“It’s not fair to punish people for not buying Obamacare when the website from which they are supposed to sign up doesn’t work. That’s why I am going to present a bill to delay the individual mandate until the GAO certifies that Obamacare websites are in full operation for at least six months,” he said in a statement.
Contact Marianela Toledo at Marianela.Toledo@FloridaWatchdog.org twitter @mtoledoreporter