House Republicans ask Senate to delay Obamacare mandate
The GOP House is asking the Democratic-controlled Senate to vote to suspend the individual mandate in Obamacare for a year - the same deal that the administration has given businesses.
Reps. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), sponsors of a bill to delay the mandate that passed the House on Wednesday, delivered the weekly GOP address.
Young and Griffin accused Democrats and the White House of ignoring the needs of individuals by opposing their legislation.
"Many Democrats voted to stand with big business and against fairness for individuals and families," said Young.
"President Obama threatened to veto our proposals altogether. We take that to mean he thinks it's fair to let businesses off the hook while leaving middle-class families in harm's way."
Griffin told the story of a "21-year old Hispanic-American who runs a small business in my district" who says he cannot hire more workers because "ObamaCare makes him choose between new, higher insurance premiums or hefty fines."
Republicans have stepped up their criticism of the healthcare law since July 2, when the Treasury Department announced the delay of the employer mandate.
The policy requires businesses of 50 or more workers to provide health insurance, and involves an elaborate reporting system.
Administration officials said their deferral responded to requests from business for more time to understand that system.
Republicans quickly turned the argument on the White House, saying individuals deserve as much flexibility as companies.
It may be a question of fairness, but Senate Democrats will never allow a vote on the issue. Delaying the mandate would cause premiums to spike because far fewer people will sign up for a policy using the exchanges. In fact, the individual mandate is the lynchpin for the entire program; without it, Obamacare will be a certain failure.