Committee Members Fighting to Protect Americans from Obamacare’s Delays, Uncertainty, and Looming Rate Shock

July 10, 2013

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ON TWITTER

WASHINGTON, DC – Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are responding to the Obama administration’s continued delays to Obamacare implementation and raising important questions about the law’s workability. Over the July 4 holiday, the administration announced a one-year delay to the employer mandate in addition to waiving the verification process for individuals applying for subsidies through the exchanges. Despite insistence from the administration that it is ‘moving forward’ with the law, these delays represent serious concerns about its ability to implement Obamacare even after more than three years to prepare. As the committee investigates and prepares for next week’s hearing, members continue fighting to protect millions of Americans from the looming uncertainty and rate shock.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)
“President Obama’s choice to delay implementing the employer mandate only underscores the point Republicans have been pressing for years: this is not a good law, it adversely affects job-creating businesses, and is too burdensome in its present form to implement on a national level.”

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), NEWSRADIO 970 WFLA
“This is a train wreck. I think it’s bad policy. And it is unworkable, it’s been three years now and they haven’t been able to implement the employer mandate and I’m glad that it was delayed - businesses were very concerned. I think that it’s going to affect us as individuals and I’d recommend the administration at least, the very least, delay the individual mandate as well.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in NEWSMAX
Despite the administration's move to delay the mandate, Blackburn still sees Obamacare hurting workers and damaging the U.S. economy. "What you see is that, yes indeed, it is imploding, and what we are seeking to do is to lessen the damage when this finally crashes," Blackburn said. "Maybe the thing to do is to delay the entire (law's) implementation."

Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
“Obamacare's expense is killing jobs and is too great for businesses to handle. This delay in implementing the employer mandate acknowledges this while encouraging employers to drop insurance coverage for their employees; taxpayers will pay more and deficits will increase. We must replace Obamacare with patient-centered reforms which expand healthcare access without destroying jobs.”

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) talking with Bill LuMaye
“They know this thing is bad for America. They know it is not ready to go into place, but yet they’re not really ready to pull back and admit defeat, so they are just going to take it in pieces, and they’re going to tell us all along ‘this is really for the better…this isn’t a setback it is just a little bump in the road.’”

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), FOX NEWS, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren
“The American people never wanted the federal government to take over one sixth of the economy. To raise taxes on small business men and women, to raise taxes on middle class people, to come between doctors and patients and the doctor-patient relationship. Let the states do this. Let’s get it right. They’ve failed completely at lowering the cost of health care and providing coverage.”

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA)
“The Obama Administration delaying enforcement of the employer mandate is another admission that the law, as written, simply will not work.”

Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) on Floor of House of Represenatives
“The American people are left wondering what led to this decision and why the individual mandate, which will be just as costly, remains in place.”

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)
“I’ve argued that this rule was a bad idea from the start. And once again, the White House has proven that Obamacare is nothing short of politics above economics.”

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) in Times of Trenton
“The decision by the Obama administration to delay until 2015 the employer health mandate, a crucial provision of its signature health-care law, underscores the fact that Obamacare is unaffordable and unworkable and isn’t what the American people were promised.

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), Washington Post
But Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), whose House committee will hold a July 18 hearing on several aspects of the law, said Obamacare is “simply not ready” to take full effect in October, when open enrollment begins in states across the country. In addition to delaying the employer mandate, the administration also issued rules Friday delaying until 2015 a requirement that new insurance marketplaces verify consumers’ income and health-insurance status. “If Americans are taking a careful look at it, they will see the administration is beginning to admit the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has some serious problems,” Murphy said, adding that the administration “is focusing on the advertising on this” rather than substantive issues.

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) on Floor of House of Representatives
“Obamacare is already a failure, harming businesses, workers, and American health care. The President has chosen to break his own law by his actions. Let’s stop the extralegal waivers, give every American a waiver by repealing the law completely.”

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)
“Suspension of the employer mandate for one year is a tacit admission by the administration that the law is unworkable and harmful to job-creators. Nearly 75 percent of small business owners say the law’s confusing new mandates, regulations, and taxes have made it more difficult to hire new workers.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)
“While the President publicly criticizes House Republicans for fighting to repeal Obamacare, he has been privately trying to waive portions of the law for select groups,” Scalise said. “We have been pointing out for years that Obamacare will be a disaster for hard-working families, and today President Obama finally agreed that this law is not ready for prime time by delaying the employer mandate.”

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Reuters
But a committee of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives wrote administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, asking why lawmakers were not informed sooner that the administration was considering delaying the requirement for employer-provided health insurance. "Despite delays and missed deadlines, administration officials had repeatedly testified before Congress that they were still on schedule to implement the law," said Representative Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The committee also sent letters to both HHS and Treasury regarding these changes to the law, requesting transparency into the decision-making process and what this means about continued implementation. The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations has scheduled a hearing for July 18, 2013.

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