GOP bill would delay ObamaCare's individual mandate until 2016

The chairman of the House Republican Study Committee has introduced new legislation to retroactively delay the individual health insurance mandate under ObamaCare until 2016.

The bill from Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is in reaction to last week's decision by the Obama administration to delay part of the employer mandate for another year. The administration said companies with at least 50 but fewer than 100 employees will have until January 2016 before they are required to offer health insurance to their workers.

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That move followed its July 2013 announcement that the mandate for all companies would be delayed until January 2015.

The Freeing Americans from Inequitable Requirements (FAIR) Act, H.R. 4064, would essentially delay the individual mandate to have insurance until the employer mandate is in full effect, without any exceptions. Scalise said it's only fair that the health law should be delayed for everyone, not just companies.

"Hard-working taxpayers and their families deserve the same relief from the ObamaCare train wreck that select corporations are being offered by the White House," he said Tuesday.

"President Obama has unilaterally delayed his unworkable and unaffordable healthcare law at least eighteen times, and it is only fair to simultaneously provide the same relief to the millions of hard-working Americans that he is offering to the politically connected," he added. "By repeatedly delaying key components of his signature law, President Obama has acknowledged that his health care law is failing to fulfill the many promises that were made."

The bill is co-sponsored by freshman Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), who said ObamaCare is making life harder for anyone covered by it and that individuals deserve the same relief companies are getting.

"The FAIR Act simply requires the president to fix this sad imbalance created by the failed implementation of his new health care law," she said. "If the employer mandate is delayed until 2016, then there's no good reason for the individual mandate to be in effect right now."

Last week's announcement set off more Republican complaints about the administration's numerous ObamaCare delays — all of which have been implemented without any input from Congress, and without any congressionally approved change to the law. Many GOP members say Obama is delaying his own signature health law for political reasons, mostly to avoid hurting companies just before the mid-term elections.

House GOP leaders have not said yet whether they would look to pass Scalise's bill. But earlier this month, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the House would pass a bill eliminating ObamaCare's definition of "full-time employee," which says anyone is full time if they work at least 30 hours a week.

Republicans say that definition is prompting companies to cut people's hours.