Week ahead: House GOP to move on lawsuit

House Republicans are moving ahead with their plan to sue President Obama for using executive actions to repeatedly delay the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.

On Thursday, the House Rules Committee is set to mark up a resolution authorizing the lawsuit, with the full House expected to vote on the measure the following week, ahead of the August recess.

ADVERTISEMENT
At issue is the administration’s delays to ObamaCare’s employer mandate, which requires that larger businesses either provide health insurance to employees or pay a penalty.

Earlier this week, the Rules Committee held a contentious hearing, where legal experts for both sides debated the merits of letting the House take the president to court over executive actions.

Supporters of the lawsuit said it could provide an important check on the president’s executive authority. But critics said that Obama had made only minor changes to more effectively roll out the complicated healthcare law.

A decision could also come down next week on a legal challenge to ObamaCare’s subsidies. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals could deliver a ruling in Halbig vs. Burwell, with the Fourth Circuit handling a parallel case, King vs. Burwell.

Plaintiffs in the cases argue the government overreached its authority by providing subsidies through state exchanges that are managed by the federal government. Decisions on the cases are due any day now.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers will also continue to look at the Veterans Affairs Department, as it recovers from a scandal over long wait times and delayed care.

On Tuesday, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Robert McDonald to be the next VA secretary. President Obama tapped McDonald to replace former Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned after allegations surfaced that VA officials used secret wait lists that might have lead to the deaths of dozens of patients.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding two hearings in its 21st Century Cures series on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Tuesday hearing will discuss barriers to healthcare communication, while the panel will deal with personalized medicine on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing to question ObamaCare’s application verification system, which determines who is eligible for subsidies. The system has come under fire after the administration recently admitted that many applications were plagued with mistakes, often taking months to resolve.

Off Capitol Hill, on Tuesday, Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will speak to reporters at the National Press Club about the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and other critical health issues, including the rise in measles cases.

Frieden has recently come under criticism from lawmakers after the CDC revealed a slew of safety breaches at its labs, including mishandling of live anthrax and highly virulent avian flu.

 

Recent stories:

Shockwave over HIV researchers’ deaths: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/212687-shockwave-over-hiv-aids-researchers-deaths

What will Obama do on employer mandate?: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/212625-pressure-builds-on-obama-for-decision-on-employer-mandate

Dems push birth control disclosure for new hires: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/212603-dems-push-birth-control-disclosure-for-new-hires

More potentially dangerous vials found at government lab: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/212474-more-potentially-dangerous-vials-found-at-government-lab

Will Boehner find friendly court?:http://thehill.com/news/house/212382-will-boehner-find-friendly-court