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House Committee Spars Over Employer Mandate

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, July 11, 2013

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Health and witnesses spent more than two hours Tuesday debating the value of the employer mandate and the potential impact of its delay, at times testily.

The Obama administration continues to face the ire of Congress as questions about implications of the delay in the enforcement of the employer mandate have opened the door, for the 38th time, for the House to push for the complete repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In the first of what is expected to be several congressional hearings on the subject, the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Health met Wednesday to hear testimony about the anticipated impact of the delay from members of the business and healthcare policy communities.

The Obama administration unexpectedly announced last week that it would delay for one year a key provision of the PPACA which requires mid-sized and large employers to provide health insurance for their workers or pay a fine.


See Also: CMS Releases Proposed OPPS, Physician Fee Rules


In his opening statement, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the subcommittee chair, quickly transitioned from what he termed the Treasury Department's "strangely-timed announcement… on an obscure Treasury blog site just two days before the 4th of July" to his support for the postponement of the individual mandate, and finally to a call for full repeal of PPACA.

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