The new House language would delay the individual health insurance mandate, and prohibit the government from subsidizing the health insurance of senior officials who would have to use the health insurance exchanges. It also requires President Obama, Vice President Obama and senior political appointees to use the healthcare exchanges.
"I think this is one of the most cynical things I've ever seen," Rules Committee ranking member Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said in committee.
Democrats also argued that the GOP effort to prevent the government from subsidizing the insurance of members and others who would have to use ObamaCare are missing the point, since the exchanges were never meant to be used by people with a work-sponsored insurance option. Slaughter said if the GOP language became law, senior congressional and Executive Branch workers would be the only people in the country without an worker subsidy.
"You can cause a brain drain if this were to become law, because a lot of these kids would leave," added Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.).
Hastings said some of his staffers have already indicated they would leave over the uncertainty surrounding how they are covered. "I have three staffers that are on tap to leave, two that have given me their termination dates, largely because of their uncertainty," he said.
In the committee, Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said the bill reflects the GOP's ongoing attempt to repeal or delay ObamaCare, which they said is causing and will cause damage to the U.S. economy.
"Today, Republicans I believe are united, that we are ready to prevent ObamaCare from becoming a reality and this Rules Committee is here to do just that," Sessions said.