“This debate is about jobs. And it’s about fairness.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday (July 17), Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, demanded relief for Michigan families and businesses from the Affordable Care Act. Upton, who serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, urged the chamber to pass legislation that would delay both the law’s employer and individual mandates.
The Authority for Mandate Delay Act, H.R. 2667, delays for one year the healthcare law’s requirement that employers who employ more than 50 full-time employees provide approved healthcare coverage or pay a federal penalty. On July 2, 2013, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced that it was delaying this requirement; H.R. 2667 would codify this decision. The Act passed this evening by a bipartisan vote of 264-161.
The Fairness for American Families Act, H.R. 2668, would offer the same relief of individuals that the administration has extended to businesses by delaying for one year the healthcare law’s requirement that individuals purchase approved healthcare coverage or face a federal tax penalty. H.R. 2668 passed this evening by a bipartisan vote of 251-174.
Thursday afternoon, Upton’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing examining the Obama administration’s recent announcements regarding the employer mandate and eligibility verification requirements contained in the Affordable Care Act.
Upton’s floor remarks as prepared for delivery:
It was just over two weeks ago, as Americans were gathering with loved ones to celebrate our nation’s independence, that a Treasury Department bureaucrat quietly posted a blog detailing a major policy shift in the administration’s signature health law – the delay of the employer mandate. While it appeared to be a sudden turnabout, today we learned the administration had made the decision in June and that “it was considered in a very careful way for a while.”
This is a direct contradiction to previous testimony before Congress; every single time we had asked an administration witness if implementation was on track, they looked us in the eye and said yes.
Why did the “most transparent administration in history” mislead Congress and try to dupe the public? Because it knew that the law is bad for business and bad for jobs.
Today, we give the administration authority, in full view of the American public, to delay the employer mandate for one year.
And the House will also stand up for the millions of young adults, working families, and older Americans who cannot afford the health care law’s looming rate shock. Fair is fair: if businesses aren’t subject to burdens and penalties under the health care law next year, average folks shouldn’t face them either.
Many middle-class families will pay dramatically higher premiums as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The Energy and Commerce Committee surveyed 17 of the nation’s leading insurers and found many consumers in the individual market could see their premiums nearly double, with potential highs eclipsing 400 percent.
The broken promises are many. Missed deadlines and delays have become routine. This law is so far off the rails that the administration is now disregarding entire sections of the statute. This debate is about jobs. It’s about fairness.
We continue to believe a permanent delay of these damaging policies is the best course of action. For today, let’s join together and protect Americans for at least the next year. I ask my colleagues to support both H.R. 2667 and H.R 2668 so we can delay and dismantle these policies that will hurt Americans and job creation.
Source: News release from Congressman Fred Upton