White House threatens to veto ObamaCare mandate delays

Despite the Obama Administration acting to delay parts of ObamaCare, the White House issued a veto threat yesterday on two pieces of legislation proposed in the House that would delay the individual and employer mandates.

“The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 2667 and H.R. 2668 because the bills, taken together, would cost millions of hard-working middle class families the security of affordable health coverage and care they deserve,” the White House said in a statement. “Rather than attempting once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which the House has tried nearly 40 times, it’s time for the Congress to stop fighting old political battles and join the President in an agenda focused on providing greater economic opportunity and security for middle class families and all those working to get into the middle class.”

“H.R. 2667 is unnecessary, and H.R. 2668 would raise health insurance premiums and increase the number of uninsured Americans,” added the White House. “Enacting this legislation would undermine key elements of the health law, facilitating further efforts to repeal a law that is already helping millions of Americans stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, millions more who are getting free preventive care that catches illness early on, and thousands of children with pre-existing conditions who are now covered.”

Faced with concerns from businesses, the Treasury Department announced earlier this month that it would delay employer mandate penalties and reporting requirements until 2015. But House Republicans have questioned the move because the Affordable Care Act required that the employer mandate go into effect in 2014. They see it as another example of executive overreach, and they’re right.

Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) proposed H.R. 2667, the Authority for Mandate Delay Act, which would codify the delay into law. This is obviously something that the Obama Administration supports, but because they have demonstrated next to no respect for the rule of law, President Obama will veto it.

Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) sponsored H.R. 2668, the Fairness for American Families Act, which would delay the application of the individual mandate for one year. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) explained last week that House Republicans believe that it’s unfair for businesses to get a pass on ObamaCare mandates while American families are required to comply with a law that raises their insurance premiums and hurting employment prospects.

Both bills are scheduled for a vote later today. And while the White House is still standing behind ObamaCare, polls have consistantly shown that Americans disapprove of the law and favor repeal.

Though these votes are more symbolic and meant to put vulnerable House Democrats in an awkward position, conservative groups are pushing the House Republicans to target ObamaCare’s funding, a strategy that the Washington Examiner endorsed today in an editorial.

“A better strategy would be to skip stand-alone bills that have little chance of passing the Senate anyway, and instead focus Republican efforts on the Sept. 30, 2013, deadline for passing new spending authorization legislation to keep the federal government open,” explained the Washington Examiner. “Republicans should work to include language in the next continuing resolution that would prevent all Obamacare health insurance exchange subsidies from going forward until, as an absolute minimum, a credible income-verification system is in place to determine who is eligible for those subsidies.”

“This is a good-government, common-sense policy that comes with a ready made slogan: ‘No subsidization without verification,’” the paper added.

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