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Behind the Mic: Millions Get Reprieve From Healthcare Mandate

BOSTON (CBS) – It's the second major change made to the healthcare reform law since insurers began canceling some existing policies a couple of months ago.

The short story here – millions of Americans are getting a reprieve. An extension in the deadline to get coverage.

It had been set for next week - December 23rd. But the White House is pushing it back after critics of the law pushed back on the White House.

This rule change is specific to those who've had their individual plans canceled because they didn't meet the criteria outlined by the Affordable Care Act.

This buys them a year. And they can do one of two things: get the same stripped-down plans that were being canceled or get no coverage at all without facing a fine.

A group of Democratic senators including Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire specifically called for this change.

This will come as great news to a lot of people who were afraid of being hit with a fine. But it arguably worsens the core challenge already facing the ACA. And that is getting young, healthy people to sign-up.

Some insurance companies have been sounding-off on that issue as they make the last minute push to get people signed up. The Wall Street Journal reports insurers from all over the country have been running into the same thing - people reluctant to enroll because of frustrations over the healthcare web site.

Some are frustrated with the delays. Others worry about security. Which brings us back to the issue of balance. If you don't have healthy people on board you can't afford to cover the sick ones.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz.

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