Reid objected to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) request to pass a House bill, H.R. 2668. The bill passed in the House last month and would delay for one year — until 2015 — the individual mandate requiring citizens to buy health insurance or pay a tax.
“I don’t know why they want to leave Americans out in the cold,” McConnell said. “They deserve the same relief businesses do. … If it’s OK for businesses why not individuals?”
Republicans have argued that the employer mandate will harm the economy and cause employers to reduce workers’ hours to avoid buying health insurance for employees. Many have called for a full repeal of the law, also called the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats point out that the healthcare law has already benefited people with preexisting conditions who can’t be denied coverage, those under the age of 26 who can stay on their parents’ plans and women who now pay less for preventative healthcare.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) also tried to pass by unanimous consent H.R. 2009, which would prohibit the IRS from enforcing ObamaCare, but Reid objected to that request as well. The House is expected to pass that bill Friday.