Another day, another delay in the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
OK, so that's a bit of an exaggeration. But only a bit.
And Monday's news that the sign-up deadline for new federal health insurance policies under Obamacare had been extended should have come as no surprise.
Simply put, the Obama administration has developed a seemingly unbreakable habit of adjusting the overreaching law's big-government mandates.
Last June, the White House announced a one-year postponement in the requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health insurance for them.
And now, as The Washington Post reported on its website Monday, "without any public announcement, Obama administration officials have changed the rules so that people will have an extra day to enroll" in health plans that initially had a deadline of midnight Monday.
But good luck if you plan to take that extra day to do Christmas Eve shopping for one of those policies. Judging from the abysmal track record of that HealthCare.Gov site, the process remains a mess. That includes serious flaws in providing security for personal information.
Also a mess: the administration's often-conflicting attempts to explain what Americans who have tried to sign up for Obamacare exchange plans - and failed due to the site's myriad of problems - should do next.
More from the Post on Monday: "Asked to explain the reason for the extension - and why it was kept secret - officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency overseeing the health exchange, at first declined to respond. By early afternoon, Julie Bataille, director of CMS's office of communication, said the official deadline for signing up for Jan. 1 coverage remains Monday, but she added: 'Anticipating high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure that those who select a plan through tomorrow will get coverage for Jan 1.' "
The business community certainly is.
As one insurance industry official told the Post on Monday: "Making yet another last-minute change to the rules by shortening an already-tight time period in which to process enrollments makes it even harder to ensure people who have selected a plan are able to have their coverage begin in January."
And on Sunday, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin - a Democrat - again called for delaying the individual mandate for a full year. He warned: "If it's so much more expensive than what we anticipated and if the coverage is not as good as what we had, you've got a complete meltdown at that time."
Sen. Manchin and fellow Democrats have an obvious electoral motive for postponing as many of Obamacare's ill effects past the 2014 congressional elections. But regardless of those self-serving political considerations, delaying the unsustainable law merely delays its inevitable disastrous results.
Band-Aid remedies, whether ordered with questionable constitutional authority by executive fiat or legislated by Congress, won't cure what's ailing this Nanny State nightmare.
It's increasingly obvious that the massive 2010 health care legislation pushed by President Obama and passed by Congress without a single Republican vote doesn't - and can't - work. It's also painfully evident that it was sold to the American people on false pretenses - most flagrantly, the president's repeated assurance that "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan."
Still, a full repeal of the law appears politically impossible as long as Democrats control both the White House and Senate.
Thus, the best short-term prescription must be a sweeping overhaul of that misguided law that aimed to overhaul one-sixth of the American economy.
And as the Obama administration struggles to fix what is so plainly an irretrievably flawed law, it re-confirms critics' warnings that passing the Affordable Care Act was a colossal mistake.
Notice about comments: