Friday, October 31, 2014

House OKs Jenkins’ Obamacare delay; president vows veto

By The Herald Staff | 3/5/2014

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., is one step closer to delaying the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, from penalizing individuals in 2014.

The House of Representatives passed Jenkins’ bill, HR 4118 or The Simple Fairness Act, Wednesday with a 250-160 vote. The legislation would make the individual mandate penalty under the Affordable Care Act zero for 2014. If passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Obama, individuals would be exempt from tax penalties mandated by the law.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., is one step closer to delaying the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, from penalizing individuals in 2014.

The House of Representatives passed Jenkins’ bill, HR 4118 or The Simple Fairness Act, Wednesday with a 250-160 vote. The legislation would make the individual mandate penalty under the Affordable Care Act zero for 2014. If passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Obama, individuals would be exempt from tax penalties mandated by the law.

“This legislation is about fairness, and providing relief to all middle-class families who continue to struggle under the president’s health care law,” Jenkins said. “While the president claims to oppose any attempt to alter his law, the president is the one who has delayed the employer mandate two different times. The president is the one who said this law is not ready. And now the president has declined to extend the same flexibility to all middle-class Americans.”

President Obama said before Wednesday’s vote that he would veto the legislation if approved by both houses of Congress. Democrat leaders decried Jenkins’ bill as the GOP’s 50th attempt to block the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s time for Republicans to end their obsession with upending health reform and work with Democrats to strengthen it,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said.

Jenkins contended the public has sided against Obamacare.

“The court of public opinion is a powerful thing, and on the issue of the individual mandate, public opinion is squarely on the side of the Simple Fairness Act, because it is a matter of good public policy,” Jenkins said. “I am pleased that 27 House Democrats joined with House Republicans to listen, and provide relief and fairness to all middle-class families through the legislative process, whether or not the president approves. The people’s House will continue to listen and protect the American people from this law through the appropriate legal channels, and I challenge the Senate to join us and do the right thing for all Americans.”

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