Protecting All Americans From ObamaCare’s Mandates

John Boehner, July 13, 2013

After months of insisting that things were ‘on track’ and ‘fabulous,’ the Obama administration and its allies have finally acknowledged what Ohio families and job creators already know: the president’s health care law is unworkable.

In delaying ObamaCare’s flawed employer mandate for one year, the administration is acknowledging it has no choice but to provide needed relief to large employers from burdens imposed by the law that are clearly dragging on our economy and jobs growth. This provision levies penalties on employers if they do not comply with new regulations in the law.

Still, the administration’s unilateral action to delay came too late for those who have already lost their jobs or have seen hours cut as a result of the mandate before the delay was announced. And it does nothing to lessen the burden of Obamacare on individuals and families.

This has created a situation where if you’re a big bank or a financial company, you don’t have to comply with ObamaCare. But if you’re a single parent trying to make ends meet, you’ll be taxed. I believe it’s unfair to protect big businesses from ObamaCare, but leave individuals and families on the hook. All Americans need to be protected from the law’s mandates that are raising costs and hurting jobs.

Consider the law’s impact in Ohio. According to the Washington newspaper The Hill, ‘the average premium for an individual healthcare policy will likely rise from $223 per month to $420…’ That’s an 88 percent increase for Ohioans – and it equates to nearly $2,400 over the course of a year.

But we aren’t alone. These cost hikes are consistent with a nationwide report on ‘rate shock’ by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The committee compiled data from the country’s largest insurers showing rates on the individual market are going to double, with some soaring by as much as 400 percent.

Forbes says the biggest factors driving up prices are provisions in ObamaCare ‘forcing people to buy richer insurance benefits; to buy products with all sorts of add-ons they might not need; to pay ObamaCare’s premium tax; and to pay a lot more, if they’re young, to subsidize older individuals.’

"Even the president's own Democratic allies in Congress have acknowledged that the implementation of the president's unpopular, unworkable health care law is a ‘train wreck.’ The law's mandates and tax hikes are driving up prices, making it harder for small businesses to hire. Worse yet, the administration now plans to abandon eligibility verification requirements for subsidies, leaving taxpayer dollars open to massive fraud and abuse. Instead it will rely on the ‘honor system.’

"The American people deserve better than this, and that’s why Republicans remain committed to repealing the entire law. We need to start over and get things right. Americans want a step-by-step, common-sense approach to health care reform.

So as a matter of basic fairness, the House will vote to delay both the health care law’s employer mandate and the individual mandate. Reps. Tim Griffin (R-AK) and Todd Young (R-IN) have authored the bills that will accomplish these goals. The Griffin bill will provide the authorization the president should have sought for the delay in the employer mandate, while the Young bill will provide families and individuals with the relief they've been unfairly denied by the Administration. Delay of these Obamacare mandates will aid Americans who are still suffering in this sluggish economy, and it will allow us to advocate for effective, patient-centered reforms that actually make health care more affordable and protect jobs.

The President has taken an important step in admitting that one of his law’s major provisions is unworkable. It's time for him to acknowledge that the rest of the law is unworkable as well. Both parties need to come together and use this opportunity to provide relief to all Americans.

Congressman John Boehner is the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Boehner, a Republican, represents Ohio's Eighth Congressional District, which includes Miami, Butler, Preble, Darke, and Mercer Counties.

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