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Saving Obamacare Without Congress

The failures of HealthCare.gov have reignited the question of whether and how the federal government should delay the penalty for not buying insurance. Here’s half an answer: If the administration of President Barack Obama opts for delay, a provision of the Affordable Care Act gives it the legal authority to do so, without turning to Congress.

Technological problems have crippled the Obamacare exchanges, most severely the ones that the federal government is running through HealthCare.gov. With the exchanges not working, people without other coverage options can’t obtain health insurance. And if they can’t get insurance, they can’t fulfill their obligations under the law’s individual mandate.