House OKs bills delaying mandate

Published 10:31am Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Last week, the House of Representatives passed twin pieces of legislation delaying one of the most controversial aspects of Obamacare, its mandate to buy health insurance.

The House bills, which I supported, delay the health insurance mandate for both individuals and businesses for one year while House lawmakers continue to work for a full repeal of Obamacare.

When campaigning for the passage of his so-called Affordable Care Act, President Obama promised it would live up to its name by providing Americans with affordable coverage while not denying them their choice of care.

In the three years since the former Democrat-led Congress passed Obamacare into law, the record reflects a different story.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reported that the average cost of family health care premiums has already risen by nearly 25 percent.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that as many as seven million Americans will lose their employer-provided health care.

This figure is likely to rise.

For months, newspapers have sported headlines of small businesses and even local government plans to lay off full-time workers due to the looming costly mandates of Obamacare.

The Birmingham News reported last week on a US Chamber of Commerce study revealing that half of the small businesses that will be required to provide insurance under Obamacare have already acknowledged plans “to cut employees’ hours or replace full-time workers with part-timers.”

Facing growing pressure from businesses, the Obama administration recently announced a delay in the health care coverage mandate for businesses with more than 50 full-time employees, but left ordinary working Americans to shoulder the new mandate or pay a fine.

For starters, the White House does not have the legal authority to selectively apply portions of the health care law. Only Congress has that authority.

Secondly, there is no fairness in picking winners and losers in whom should carry the burden of an expensive and unpopular health care law.

Last Wednesday, a majority of the House voted to delay the insurance coverage mandate for both individuals and businesses. I opposed Obamacare’s passage and voted on May 16, 2013, to repeal it.

Until we are able to eliminate Obamacare outright, the House will continue to pursue all options to protect Americans from skyrocketing premiums; from being forced to give up their choice of health coverage; and, seeing many lose their jobs due to Obamacare.

Editor's Picks