House votes to delay individual mandate in Obamacare
After a series of secret meetings with business interests, the Obama administration postponed the implementation of the healthcare mandate for businesses employing 50 or more full-time employees.
Last week, the Obama Administration announced a one year delay of the enforcement of Obamacare’s employer mandate, giving businesses a break from the law. However, the Administration kept intact Obamacare’s individual mandate, forcing families and individuals to comply with the law. Today, the U.S. House passed legislation that would the delay for one year both the employer mandate (H.R. 2667) and the individual mandate (H.R. 2668).
The House voted 264-161 for a measure that would do exactly that. But they also voted 251-174 for a measure that would delay the individual mandate — the requirement on individuals to buy health insurance — for a year as well.
Republicans argue that both delays are necessary. While they endorsed the delay for businesses, House Speaker John Boehner and other GOP lawmakers say it’s unfair to deny everyone else a similar reprieve.
Tomorrow the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing at 1:30pm ET tomorrow to examine the recent changes in the implementation of Obamacare.
Below are reactions from Georgia congressmen.
From Rep. Tom Graves (GA-14):
“Businesses have their delay and the special interests have their waivers. Let’s not to leave working families on the tracks for the Obamacare train wreck.
“If Obamacare is too dangerous for some—if the president has to shield corporations and give thousands of waivers to unions and other favored constituencies—why is his law still being imposed on individuals and families? The implementation of the law should not be partial to the powerful. If a delay is necessary for corporations, it’s also necessary for people.
“As I work with Senator Ted Cruz and dozens of others to defund the entire law, I will continue taking an all-of-the-above approach to stopping Obamacare until we are permanently freed of its interference in our lives and threats to our jobs.”
From Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA-11):
“Though the Obama administration delayed the job-killing employer mandate, they left the rest of America on the hook for a massive tax hike,” Gingrey said. “Instead of picking winners and losers, House Republicans acted to protect all Americans and job creators from the devastating effects of the law. Our work is far from over, however. Providing relief for taxpayers by delaying these costly mandates for one year is not enough, and I will continue fighting to dismantle every single piece of this ‘train wreck’ of a law. Repealing Obamacare in its entirety is paramount to enacting health care reform that truly lowers costs, increases patient access, and protects quality of care.”
From Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA-08):
Today, the House passed H.R. 2668, the Fairness for American Families Act, and H.R. 2667, the Authority for Mandate Delay Act. These bills amend ObamaCare to delay the individual and employer mandate of providing or purchasing minimal essential health care coverage until 2015. Earlier this month, the Obama Administration said it would delay the implementation of the employer mandate for ObamaCare. Congressman Westmoreland and his colleagues believe if big businesses get a delay, then it should also be extended to the individual taxpayer as well. Below is Congressman Westmoreland’s statement.
“Each week we are learning more and more how ObamaCare is hurting our families and businesses. The broken promises keep piling up. Premiums are skyrocketing, hours and pay are being cut, and families are forced to make tough choices on their coverage- even losing the plans they already have and like. Now, the White House has announced it’s delaying the employer mandate, proving yet again that it’s a complete mess. If President Obama believes he can pick which part of his own law he chooses to enforce by delaying the mandate for big businesses, why wouldn’t he offer the same for the hardworking employees and their families?
American people are the ones having their hours cut and losing their jobs because of ObamaCare – they deserve a delay too. That’s why I joined my colleagues in passing these bills so both the employer and employee get the same protection. With the ultimate goal of a full repeal, I will continue to fight to delay, defund, or dismantle this horrible health law so we can replace it with real health care reform,” stated Westmoreland.
From Rep. Tom Price (GA-06):
“The Obama Administration’s decision to delay implementation of the employer mandate joins a growing list of failures related to the rollout of the president’s health care law – all of which have been stark reminders that the American people simply cannot trust Washington to competently or compassionately run their health care. The House of Representatives is taking action to delay the mandate for both employers and individuals because the American people ought to have relief from the failings of ObamaCare.
“That relief must ultimately be made permanent by a full repeal of the president’s health care law so that it no longer threatens the health and well-being of individuals, families, job creators and the nation’s health care system. A full repeal would also pave the way for patient-centered health care reforms that put patients, families and doctors in charge, expands access to affordable health care choices, tackles insurance challenges like portability and pre-existing conditions and helps address the rising cost of health care in America.”
From Rep. Doug Collins (GA-09):
“Today was about fairness,” said Collins. “If President Obama deems it appropriate to delay the employer mandate and protect business owners, the same respect should be paid to American families that are worried about skyrocketing health care premiums under Obamacare. While my preference is to see Obamacare repealed in its entirety, these bills are steps in the right direction. The burdens of Obamacare do not address our national health care needs, and Democrats have learned that lesson as public opposition steadily grows the closer we get to implementation. It’s disheartening to think they’re realizing this after-the-fact, rather than four years ago – when Republicans were discussing free-market principles and effective cost-cutting policies.”
There were comments throughout the day. Also, a similar movement is happening in the Senate. Rep. Tom Graves called the initiative in the Senate a “Cruz missile on Obamacare.”
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