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Bridget Johnson


July 9, 2013 - 3:39 pm

House Republican leaders today pressed President Obama on his delay of the ObamaCare employer mandate, asking why the same relief from the new regulations wasn’t extended to households as well.

The yearlong implementation delay of the employer provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) relieved businesses of noncompliance penalties for an extra year as an adjustment period.

“We agree with you that many of the provisions in the law cannot be implemented within the current time frame; but we strongly disagree with you that time will ever remedy these predictable consequences of the law,” said a letter sent to Obama today by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other GOP leaders. “Many have predicted the problems that your Administration now acknowledges, and each provision you delay continues to demonstrate that the entire law is unworkable.”

“We recognize that the decision to delay the employer mandate was likely not a decision you made in only a day and necessarily required substantial review by analysts at the Department of the Treasury, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, as well as the Office of Management and Budget.”

Treasury announced the delay last week. “The Administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin,” said Mark J. Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy. “…Just like the Administration’s effort to turn the initial 21-page application for health insurance into a three-page application, we are working hard to adapt and to be flexible about reporting requirements as we implement the law.”

“Your decision to delay one part of the law affecting employers and leave in place provisions regulating individual and family health care creates many new questions and concerns,” House Republicans continued in their letter.

They asked that the administration provide to Congress:

  • the change in the number of individuals receiving subsidies through the exchange for calendar year 2014,
  • the change in the number of individuals expected to pay the individual mandate penalty for calendar year 2014,
  • the change in the number of employers who currently provide health care coverage,
  • changes in federal outlays and revenues,
  • changes in enrollment in Medicaid for calendar year 2014,
  • the impact of the employer mandate on increasing the number of individuals working part-time involuntarily and business reducing the number of hours employees work to below 30 hours,
  • the impact on the ability of the IRS and Health care Exchanges to accurately verify and prevent fraud regarding individual eligibility for premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies,
  • the legality of the decision to unilaterally delay the mandate, and
  • the economic impact.

“Please also provide to Congress your justification for only delaying the employer mandate at this time and not the new mandate on individuals and families,” they added. “We agree with you that the burden was overwhelming for employers, but we also believe American families need the same relief.”

House Republicans also want a list of any other ObamaCare provisions expected to be delayed before Oct. 1.

“Because the unilateral changes to this complicated law were surely made with a great deal of data, review and input, we believe it is reasonable to request answers to these questions by August 1, 2013.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Mr. Speaker, you are becoming a predictable embarrassment. Do you really expect a response from this regime after they have ignored each and every request/subpoena on every issue that you have sent them? They just sit back and laugh at you, Mr. Speaker. You truly are like Charlie Brown buying into Lucy holding that football for you to kick...

Well, if you have not realized it yet, you have been put on notice: if you wish to continue serving even as a representative in the House, much less as the Speaker, you had better not screw us on this disastrous immigration fiasco. If you enter a compromise bill that does not provide border security and push it through with democrat majority support, thusly ignoring the Hastert Rule....that sleight of hand will at least cost you the Speakership and possibly your House seat itself. Don't do it, John, you'll be sorry....and unemployed. Do you know how hard it is to find a full-time job with health benefits right now? No, probably not since you are so detached from reality being on Capitol Hill for so long. Well, its, how about growing a pair and start standing up for the working Americans that have to pay for all this crap you guys dream up?

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Are the questions posed by the House Republicans in the letter rhetorical? Because I'm not sure we should expect a response should we?

I wonder if instead of asking Obama about the legality of the decision to delay the mandate it would have been more effective for House Republicans to proactively offer a legal rationale for why they think it is not legal? Maybe force a reaction or public discussion around some specifics instead of a letter that will go into a black hole.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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