WASHINGTON — Speaker John Boehner announced Thursday he will host a vote in the House of Representatives to delay both the individual and employer Obamacare mandates next week.
“Is it fair for the president to give American businesses an exemption from the health law’s mandates without giving the same break to individuals and families across the country?” the Ohio Republican said during a press conference Thursday. “Hell no, it isn’t.”
The speaker’s decision came in response to the White House’s announcement last week that the Obamacare provision requiring businesses to provide employee healthcare or pay fines would be delayed a full year.
Congressional Republicans have seized on the delay as another opportunity to point out the complications with implementing the national healthcare law — a policy the Obama administration has championed as its crowning achievement.
Following the announcement, Republicans have renewed their resistance to the law, claiming it will hurt the economy by adding an extra financial burden on employers, resulting in fewer hires, lower wages and decreased hours to make up for the law’s cost.
“It’s wide open to fraud and abuse. In short — it’s a train wreck. And even the administration knows that this law is unworkable,” Boehner said.
The speaker went on to say the House is still committed to repealing the law in the long term, which they have successfully voted to do more than 36 times already, going on to die in the Democratically-controlled Senate each time.
According to the White House, giving businesses more time will ensure the law unfolds smoothly. However, no such extension has been deemed necessary for individuals, and the rest of the law will continue to be implemented as scheduled.
Republicans in Congress have characterized the delay as nothing more than a political move, pushing the business mandate implementation until 2015 –well after the 2014 midterm elections.
Democrats in Congress will have to pick up seats in 2014 for the administration to have any hope of implementing any part of a second term agenda.
A majority of House and Senate GOP members have sent a letters to the president this week questioning the legal justification for the delay, demanding a delay for individuals and requesting a recalculation of the legislation’s cost.