Senate Vote Urged to Delay Obamacare Mandate
July 20, 2013 - 1:08 pm
Ed Rogers writes in the Washington Post what we all know: Obamacare is falling apart:
As the reality of Obamacare emerges, a disastrous calamity imposed on the American people, even the most compliant members of the Obama fan club are beginning to panic. Three union presidents have sent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi a scathing letter decrying Obamacare, showing just how out-of-control this law has become. This astonishing reversal has been underreported so far, except by the ever-vigilant Tom Gara in the Wall Street Journal.
The fact is that the crater of Obamacare is getting deeper, with sharper edges. The unions are first-tier political allies of President Obama and the Democratic Party, and it was surely their last resort to put their grievances with Obamacare in writing in the public sphere. A lot must have happened behind the scenes before they felt sufficiently frustrated with the Obama administration to take this step.
In a joint letter, James P. Hoffa of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Joseph Hansen of the UFCW and D. Taylor of UNITE-HERE state that Obamacare will “destroy the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class” and “destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.” And they highlight their buyer’s remorse:
We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision. Now this vision has come back to haunt us.
You can feel their anxiety and boiling frustration coming through.
Rogers asks, “What does falling apart look like for Obamacare, if not this?”
Trying to keep up the pressure on Obama and the Democrats, Republicans in the House are now urging the Senate, as a matter of “fairness,” to vote to delay Obamacare’s individual mandate, as the Treasury Department has already delayed the business mandate that requires companies of over 50 workers to insure their employees.
Reps. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), sponsors of a bill to delay the mandate that passed the House on Wednesday, delivered the weekly GOP address.
Young and Griffin accused Democrats and the White House of ignoring the needs of individuals by opposing their legislation.
“Many Democrats voted to stand with big business and against fairness for individuals and families,” said Young.
“President Obama threatened to veto our proposals altogether. We take that to mean he thinks it’s fair to let businesses off the hook while leaving middle-class families in harm’s way.”
Griffin told the story of a “21-year old Hispanic-American who runs a small business in my district” who says he cannot hire more workers because “ObamaCare makes him choose between new, higher insurance premiums or hefty fines.”
Republicans have stepped up their criticism of the healthcare law since July 2, when the Treasury Department announced the delay of the employer mandate.
The policy requires businesses of 50 or more workers to provide health insurance, and involves an elaborate reporting system.
Administration officials said their deferral responded to requests from business for more time to understand that system.
Republicans quickly turned the argument on the White House, saying individuals deserve as much flexibility as companies.
Whether it’s a good argument or not is beside the point. The Democrats will never vote to delay the individual mandate. If they did, Obamacare would totally collapse, killed by a lack of customers for the state exchanges. Without millions of new insureds, premiums will skyrocket thanks to the increase in costs due to sick people paying the same rates as healthy people. Obamacare needs the offsetting increase in revenue as a result of “young invincibles” being forced to sign up.
For good or ill, Democrats are stuck with the president’s “historic” legislation. It’s too late to run and hide by trying to delay the inevitable.