Obamacare: Rumblings in the House
As of early August, the U.S. House of Representatives has taken about 40 votes to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare). Recent House votes have drawn public attention to members of Connecticut’s House delegation. Here’s a brief review of why.
Votes to repeal or modify the ACA have focused on various provisions of the federal law and, more recently, were directed at the employer and individual requirements to offer and maintain health insurance.
One of the points of controversy is the recent guidance that delays the employer penalty until 2015</a>. Before the delay, Employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees could have faced a penalty in 2014 if they did not offer minimum coverage at what the government deemed an affordable price to employees.
However, with the delay, these employers now have until 2015 to analyze and adjust to the law without fear of a penalty.
In reaction to the employer penalty delay, some in Congress called for a delay of the individual mandate–the requirement that most U.S. citizens must either maintain health insurance or pay a fine.
All except one of Connecticut’s House delegation voted with the majority of their Democratic colleagues in opposition to delaying the individual mandate (H.R. 2668). The exception was U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-5), who said she voted in favor of delaying the mandate after hearing the concerns of her constituents.
Rep. Jim Himes (D-4) recently tweeted his displeasure with the two-score number of votes in the House concerning the ACA, which resulted in an online conversation about how Congress and its staff will continue to benefit from cost-sharing in the new exchange system—which some perceive as special treatment. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a proposed rule earlier this month allowing Members of Congress and certain congressional staffers to continue to benefit from employer cost sharing in the state exchanges.
With Congress now on summer break, the votes on the ACA will also be on hiatus for the next few weeks. However, implementation of the ACA remains a hot topic with both state and federal legislators.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Jennifer Herz at 860.244.1921 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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