House advances bill ending ObamaCare penalties

The House on Wednesday afternoon advanced legislation that would eliminate this year's ObamaCare penalties against people who choose not to buy a health insurance policy.

Members voted 228-182 in favor of a rule for this bill, which will allow debate and a final vote later Wednesday afternoon. Four Democrats voted for the rule, along with every Republican.

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The bill is the latest Republican backlash against the latest Obama administration decision to delay some parts of the bill. The administration has delayed the requirement that companies provide a health plan to their workers until 2015 or 2016, depending on the size of the company.

Republicans say that means a similar waiver should be provided for the individual insurance mandate. Under the law, people who refuse to buy insurance will face a penalty of 1 percent of their income, or a minimum of $95.

"The president has been quick to fix parts of the law that have political consequences for his allies and to protect his own talking points," said Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas). "Yet, where is the president's protection for the American people?"

Democrats cast the bill as another soon-to-fail attempt to gut the law, and said Republicans have now tried 50 times to undermine ObamaCare. Rep. Louise Slaugther (D-N.Y.) cast it as the GOP's 50th anniversary of trying to gut the 2010 healthcare law.

"It is my sincere hope that the milestone the majority's reaching today will be the end of the line for the tired political game," she said.

Late Tuesday, the Obama administration said it would veto the bill, the Individual Mandate Penalty Law Equals Fairness Act, or H.R. 4118. But it won't come to that, as the Senate is not expected to consider the measure.

The same rule approved today also governs floor consideration of H.R. 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act.

That bill would scale back the Environmental Protection Agency's emission rules for coal-fired power plants. Specifically, it would eliminate an EPA rule requiring carbon capture systems in new plants, and slow down a pending rule on emissions for existing plants.