Some lawmakers want delay in individual mandate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Four years ago, with the stroke of a pen, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. But that hasn’t stopped some members of Congress from trying to repeal it more than 50 times.

“They could have stopped at 30 or 25 or 10,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) “We need to get to the business of the American people – they’ve made their point, let’s get on with it.”

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has taken issue with many of the law’s provisions: including the employer mandate that would require business owners to provide health insurance to each employee. Recently, the Obama Administration delayed that mandate for an additional year, now some lawmakers want to see that same delay for individuals.

“The president, over 24 times now, has done something to alter his signature piece of legislation and what’s happened in that is it’s not helping the hardworking American taxpayers out there,” said Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH).

Latta says that’s the idea behind the SIMPLE Fairness Act. A bill that recently passed the House, that would delay the penalty for an individual who declines to enroll in a health care plan this year. Instead of facing a fine this year, the individual would not be penalized until 2015.

“We want to make sure that the hard-working American tax payers get the same break as everybody else,” Latta said.
But Kildee said the mandate is beneficial.

“It is important that everyone take responsibility for themselves so that the cost of one individual’s health care isn’t shared with all of us, so the individual mandate is important,” Kildee said.

Since healthcare.gov was rolled out in October, more than six million people have signed up for an insurance plan. But the individuals who haven’t enrolled, Latta said, should not be penalized.

“We want to make sure that people don’t get stuck with this thing,” Latta said. “Because Americans are saying out there, this is not what we wanted.”

The effort may be a long shot for the Republican-controlled House. The Senate has not taken up any legislation aimed at repealing the President’s signature law, and Obama himself has said the Affordable Care Act will not be repealed as long as he’s in office.

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