Green Room

House Republicans: Let’s formalize and extend Obama’s sweeping individual mandate tax delay

posted at 11:39 am on March 14, 2014 by

Allahpundit and I each wrote about this issue after the Wall Street Journal exposed it earlier in the week, and now Republican leadership is taking notice:

“The Obama Administration once again tried to sneak through a unilateral change to ObamaCare which essentially allows anyone who has experienced a hardship in obtaining health insurance to opt out of the individual mandate tax without requiring documentation. It’s no surprise that the Administration tried to sneak this through after spending years attacking Republicans for wanting to spare Americans from this very mandate. These backdoor changes to the law have to stop. Republicans agree that Americans should not be subject to ObamaCare’s mandate tax and will vote tomorrow to delay it for five years and use those savings to protect Medicare for our nation’s seniors. The fact that the Obama Administration threatens to veto Congressional actions that mirror what they are secretly doing is embarrassing, and deserves an explanation. Do House Democrats who voted in favor of the individual mandate support this unilateral delay? It is about time the White House and Democrats say one way or the other whether they want to ever see the full implementation of ObamaCare. Let’s stop playing games, and legally delay these penalties that clearly the Obama Administration even admits are destructive.”

Sure enough, the House advanced the five-year delay bill yesterday afternoon and is expected to pass it later today.  Just three Democrats joined Republicans in yesterday’s procedural vote.  Congressional Democrats are dead set against codifying the administration’s actions, which Ed noted earlier.  As Cantor says, the White House routinely threatens to veto acts of Congress that would “mirror what [Obama is] secretly doing.”  The Huffington Post dutifully denounces the GOP plan, citing a CBO report indicating that a five-year postponement of the unpopular individual mandate tax would — gasp — raise premiums and result in 13 million more uninsured Americans.  Question: What untold horrors might we expect from the president’s unilateral action to impose a sweeping, two-year “hardship waiver” for the mandate tax?  Liberals are angry at Republicans for trying to formalize the president’s own decrees.  Beyond that, Obamacare is already failing to attract the overwhelming majority of previously-uninsured Americans (due primarily to high costs), and is projected to leave at least 30 million people without coverage.  And higher premiums, you say?  Perish the thought.  We already know that costly mandates, unsound risk pools, and endless uncertainty are forcing premiums up.

Do opponents of this Republican bill believe uninsured Americans who can’t afford Obamacare’s rates — even after the subsidies — should be taxed for the privilege of remaining uncovered?  Yes or no?

I discussed the president’s de facto individual mandate tax delay on Fox Business Network last night:

UPDATE – The House bill has passed, 237-182, with a dozen Democrats joining the GOP.

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Gary Peters can kiss the Michigan Senate seat goodbye with today’s vote.

blammm on March 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Everyone needs to know who the 182 Dems are who voted against this bill. Let the purging begin

neyney on March 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Gary Peters can kiss the Michigan Senate seat goodbye with today’s vote.

blammm on March 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM

…I hope so!…but then…this is Michigan!

KOOLAID2 on March 14, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Sweet Moses on a pogostick – NO.

Do *not* ‘delay’ it – either push for immediate and full implementation, or immediate and full repeal.

Why the hell are they *helping* Obama put off the pain on this – for FIVE F*CKING YEARS?

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM

At this point I’d say it’s a mistake for the Republicans to touch the ACA in any way, shape or form.

Of course, what I really want the House to do is pass a resolution ‘deeming’ that it never deemed the Senate bill to have been passed by the House in 2010.

PersonFromPorlock on March 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Why the hell are they *helping* Obama put off the pain on this – for FIVE F*CKING YEARS?

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM

It’s the Republican way.

tommer74 on March 14, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Let’s just REPEAL this OBAMACARE PIG and push the problems back into the hole the Democrats dug for themselves.

What is the point in prolonging a stupid, dysfunctional, law which cannot work and is hurting the entire nation???

DON’T FIX IT, FORK IT!!!

landlines on March 14, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Five years? Then what?

Such a stupid, stupid party…

Kensington on March 14, 2014 at 5:34 PM

NO NO and Hell NO!
The only thing the congress should do is vote to repeal Obama care.
Then they can apologize to us, let us go back to what we, chose for ourselves, liked, and willingly paid for.
While they are at it they can all resign!

Delsa on March 14, 2014 at 11:56 PM

Who are the republicans (really secret dhimocrlapts) who are pushing this. The whole purpose is to take the dhimocrapts off the hook. These so-called republicans (dhimocrapts in republican clothing) are trying to prevent republican takeover of the Senate. Forget the BS about preventing or alleviating suffering of the people. The people voted for this. Let them suffer until they learn never to do that again@

Old Country Boy on March 15, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Repeal won’t work without two-thirds of both houses supporting it to override Zero’s veto. That’s why we’ve got to work to remove the mandate. Without the mandate, the whole thing dies anyway.

HiJack on March 16, 2014 at 3:10 AM

The Geriatric Old Progressives have no intention of repealing, stopping, or changing the law. This is all a facade. They had thousands of chances to defund the law but didn’t take them. They screamed bloody murder when Cruz proposed delaying the law. Now what do they do? They propose the same thing. But to his time they are prepared, and they know it will go nowhere

Brock Robamney on March 16, 2014 at 7:38 AM

HiJack on March 16, 2014 at 3:10 AM

Name one big government plan that collapsed “under its own weight”? They will find or print the money to keep it afloat, even if they have to seize 401k or retirement funds

Brock Robamney on March 16, 2014 at 7:41 AM

Do *not* ‘delay’ it – either push for immediate and full implementation, or immediate and full repeal.

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Let’s just REPEAL this OBAMACARE PIG and push the problems back into the hole the Democrats dug for themselves.

landlines on March 14, 2014 at 5:04 PM

NO NO and Hell NO!
The only thing the congress should do is vote to repeal Obama care.

Delsa on March 14, 2014 at 11:56 PM

They’ve already voted to repeal it – 15 times. Doesn’t do much good without the Senate voting for repeal also.

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 8:36 AM

They’ve already voted to repeal it – 15 times. Doesn’t do much good without the Senate voting for repeal also.

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 8:36 AM

That’s why I’d like to see the House ‘deeming’ that it never ‘deemed’ the ACA to be passed: no need to repeal it because it never was adopted in the first place. Would it work? Interesting question, I can see the Court refusing to touch it because of separation of powers.

But ‘deeming’ was sneaky and just possibly can be sneakied back.

PersonFromPorlock on March 16, 2014 at 5:10 PM

We are getting glimpses of the real obama, who will emerge after this November’s elections.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 17, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Before anybody gets their pants in wad over this vote, remember Reid nor Obama will ever let this pass. It was strictly a show vote to embarrass Democrats in the fall.

Imagine when a sitting Dem Rep tries to explain in a town hall why they voted to enforce the existing law when everyone knows it’s a failure.

Tater Salad on March 17, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Before anybody gets their pants in wad over this vote, remember Reid nor Obama will ever let this pass. It was strictly a show vote to embarrass Democrats in the fall.

Imagine when a sitting Dem Rep tries to explain in a town hall why they voted to enforce the existing law when everyone knows it’s a failure.

Tater Salad on March 17, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Yeah, I agree. I don’t see what the fuss is all about. We all know the Dems aren’t about to go along with the GOP on this one. The point is to make the point that Obama and his ilk are willfully going outside the bounds of the law to benefit themselves politically.

What I do wish the GOP would do is make the case to the American people that the President is acting unconstitutionally in all his actions (and that the Dems are aiding and abetting) where he makes an end-run around Congress. A few of them have said things on Fox or whatever, but the message has not gotten out. He needs to be painted as the man of lawlessness that he is.

Othniel on March 19, 2014 at 6:36 AM

… That’s why we’ve got to work to remove the mandate. Without the mandate, the whole thing dies anyway. HiJack on March 16, 2014 at 3:10 AM

Removing the mandate tells the average joe that he doesn’t have to buy insurance. It also tells the insured average joe his policy is safe for now. But, is his existing policy safe?

Mandates on insurance companies to comply with ACA remain in place, yes? What’s to stop insurance companies from continuing to drop plans that are out of step with the ACA in the name of planning ahead for the day the law is fully implemented?

Seems to me, with the mandate delayed, it lulls many into thinking nothing has to change for now. It may become easier to blame insurance companies, instead of the ACA, when they drop your existing plan in the name of bringing policies in compliance.

beselfish on March 19, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Can’t do it. The legislation would impinge on the Executive Branch’s Constitutional power to unilaterally re-write laws as it sees fit. Separation of powers, and all that.

Socratease on April 1, 2014 at 3:02 PM