Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kansas lawmakers rip Obama on latest delay of federal health care law implementation

By The Herald Staff | 2/12/2014

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Monday that mandates under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, would be delayed until 2015. Members of Kansas’ Congressional delegation criticized the delay and some called for the health care law to be repealed completely.

Businesses with 50 to 99 employees — about 2 percent of businesses in the U.S. — are not required by the law to offer health care to full-time employees until 2015, the treasury department said Monday, and will not face penalties from the federal government until 2016. The change again shows the Affordable Care Act is damaging for families, Kansas lawmakers said, and the delays offer relief to medium-sized businesses, but not the families that need it.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Monday that mandates under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, would be delayed until 2015. Members of Kansas’ Congressional delegation criticized the delay and some called for the health care law to be repealed completely.

Businesses with 50 to 99 employees — about 2 percent of businesses in the U.S. — are not required by the law to offer health care to full-time employees until 2015, the treasury department said Monday, and will not face penalties from the federal government until 2016. The change again shows the Affordable Care Act is damaging for families, Kansas lawmakers said, and the delays offer relief to medium-sized businesses, but not the families that need it.

Americans are suffering from higher premiums, dropped coverage and not being able to keep doctors, U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., said, adding that the health care law should be delayed for everyone — not just certain businesses.

“If the president can delay the employer mandate, where is the relief for everyone else?” she said. “Clearly this law is not ready for prime time, and every American deserves relief from this law, not just the ones with the big checkbooks. It is my hope the president will work with Congress to find those solutions and create fairness for all.”

While Jenkins called for the bill to be delayed and reformed, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., both called for the law to be repealed altogether.

President Obama’s delay proves the law is unworkable, Roberts said.

“The administration is picking and choosing who will benefit, and scheduling the delay until after yet more elections,” Roberts said. “I have to ask, ‘Where is the delay for the individual? Where is the delay for the average American?’ We must repeal and replace this law.”

Moran noted the cost of the health care law on the American economy based on the report by the Congressional Budget Office, which said the Affordable Care Act will cause a loss of 2 million American jobs. He said the delay was an attempt by Obama to give Democrats protection during an election year.

“Obamacare’s problems run much deeper than a poorly functioning website and badly executed implementation,” Moran said. “The true issue is the flawed underlying basis for the provisions of the law: the idea that the government must determine what coverage is acceptable for Americans, regardless of what Americans want for themselves.”

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