Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, poised to take yet another swing at dismantling Obamacare, today strongly hinted that they intend to vote by the end of the month to delay implementation of the individual mandate provision in the Affordable Care Act by one year.
Pointing at the Obama administration's decision last week to postpone implementation of the mandate for businesses, House Speaker John Boehner questioned why President Obama would side with big business but move ahead with the mandate for individuals and families.
"I'm glad the president recognized that his health care law is not good for our economy," Boehner, R-Ohio, said during a news conference at the Capitol today. "But just delaying the employer mandate frankly isn't good enough."
"If businesses can get relief from Obamacare, the rest of America ought to be able to get relief as well," he added.
This morning, the speaker joined several GOP leaders and committee chairmen in a letter to the president, asking him to justify delaying the employer mandate while leaving in place the mandate on individuals and families.
"We agree with you that the burden was overwhelming for employers, but we also believe American families need the same relief," the Republicans wrote. "Each provision you delay continues to demonstrate that the entire law is unworkable."
Joining Boehner at the news conference, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called the president's decision to delay the mandate last week "stunning" and promised to "respond this month to correct that injustice."
"I never thought I'd see the day when the White House, the president came down on the side of big business but left the American people out in the cold as far as his health care mandate is concerned," Cantor, R-Va., said. "It's just not fair to sit here and impose on the people of this country this mandate while letting business off free."
Cantor also reiterated that Republicans are for "a permanent delay" of the entire Affordable Care Act.
The House has voted three times on full repeal, and nearly 40 times in total to disrupt, defund or dismantle the president's signature law. Republicans note that seven of those efforts have been successful, saving taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.
Today, Boehner made clear the issue is still not settled in the eyes of Republicans.
"What the president did is outrageous, and the idea that we're going to give big businesses a break on Obamacare but we're going to punish small businesses and families? It's wrong," Boehner blasted. "And we'll have another vote. Count on it."