Direct Care Doctors

WASHINGTON: House advances bill to delay ObamaCare mandate

By Pete Kasperowicz

MARCH 13, 2014 – The House on Thursday advanced a bill to delay enforcement of the individual mandate under ObamaCare for five years, amid Democratic complaints that the bill would raise insurance premiums and leave millions uninsured.

In a 228-184 vote, members passed a rule allowing floor consideration of the bill, which the House is expected to pass Friday. The rule was supported by three Democrats.

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The legislation, H.R. 4015, started as a bill to repeal scheduled cuts to Medicare physicians — members of both parties support this “doc fix” proposal. However, Republicans have added language to pay for the doc fix by delaying the individual mandate penalties, a change that many Democrats were expected to oppose.That language took the form of an amendment from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich). Camp’s amendment was added to the bill upon passage of the rule, which led to Democratic complaints on the floor.”In this case, the Republicans are presumably to embarrassed about their pay-for … that they are slipping it into the rule, in what’s called the ‘deem-and-pass’ language, or what is characterized by some as the ‘demon pass’ language,” said Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.).Republicans downplayed the idea of delaying enforcement of the mandate, and cast the bill as a way out of the endless threat of cuts to doctors under the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Congress has routinely dodged those cuts, but Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) said the bill should be seen as a permanent way out of this problem.

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