OVERNIGHT HEALTH: House to vote on mandate delay

The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on bills to delay the employer and individual mandates in President Obama's healthcare law. The votes are symbolic — neither bill has a chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate. But GOP leaders are trying to capitalize on the administration's decision to delay the employer mandate, arguing that the delay creates a double standard between businesses and individuals.

The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that delaying the individual mandate would reduce the deficit while increasing premiums. The budget office did not produce a cost estimate for codifying the delay in the employer mandate.

The White House also said Tuesday that President Obama would veto both bills if they reached his desk — not that there was any question about where he stood on the proposals.

Part-time jobs: White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday dismissed reports that some employers were hiring more part-time employees because of the president's signature healthcare law.

"The data reflects that there is not support for the proposition that businesses are not hiring full-time employees because of the Affordable Care Act," Carney told reporters.

The Hill has the story.

Flashback: Trend toward part-time work, cuts in health coverage predate ObamaCare


Today in transplant policy: The House's HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act (H.R. 698), which was scheduled for markup Tuesday night, could come to the floor before August recess, according to a GOP aide. The Senate passed a version of the bill by unanimous consent June 17. The legislation would permit medical research on transplants between HIV-positive patients, potentially creating a way forward for the procedures. It is sponsored by Reps. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Andy Harris (R-Md.) in the House and Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) in the Senate. 

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"The HOPE Act changes an outdated law by making government work in a more efficient and effective manner for all patients needing transplants — both those with HIV and those without — which is exactly what the American people expect from their elected officials," said Harris in a statement Tuesday.

States fight 'navigators':
ObamaCare's "navigator" program is sparking fights across the country as insurance agents and Republican critics call it a consumer hazard. Eighteen states have enacted or considered legislation to limit the activities of navigators, including Missouri, which passed a law prohibiting the workers from providing "advice concerning the benefits, terms and features of a particular health plan." Opponents say these laws ban navigators' basic functions and will hurt consumers by limiting their access to impartial advice on health insurance.

Healthwatch breaks down the fights here.

Ill-prepared: Less than a third of small businesses say they’re prepared for the regulatory mandates under ObamaCare, a new survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found. The business lobby's quarterly survey of small firms found concerns over the law have increased by a double-digit margin over the last year, and by 4 percentage points since the first three months on 2013.

Seventy-one percent of the more than 1,300 small-business executives polled said they would be less likely to hire employees because of healthcare reform.

The Hill's RegWatch blog has the full story.

Not so 'wonderful': Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) comment Sunday that ObamaCare has been "wonderful" for America is hitting a brick wall with the GOP. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) put his position bluntly on the House floor Tuesday.

"Are you kidding me?" Boehner said. "The law isn't wonderful. It's a train wreck, and you know it, I know it, and the American people know it."

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) also chided Reid in a floor speech, calling healthcare reform a "costly failure."


Wednesday's schedule


ObamaCare's data hub and information sharing will be the subject of a joint hearing of the House Oversight subcommittee on Healthcare and the Homeland Security subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.

The House Ways and Means subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on the administration's decision to delay the employer mandate. J. Mark Iwry, senior adviser to the Treasury secretary, will testify.

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the growth of health information technology.

Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will join with Reps. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.) for a press conference on stopping ObamaCare's health insurance tax. Members of the Stop the HIT Coalition will participate.

The House Appropriations Committee will mark up its fiscal 2014 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which would ban abortion coverage for the District of Columbia's Medicaid program.

The House Ways and Means subcommittee on Human Resources will hold a hearing on federal anti-poverty efforts.


State by state


Handful of state marketplaces won't charge smokers higher premiums

N.C. gov's approval ratings tumble after abortion bill

Mass. bill would ban sexual orientation therapy


Reading list


A pillar of ObamaCare's cost-saving effort falls short

Healthcare spending: What's in store?

Painkiller addicts hit Medicaid limits


What you might have missed on Healthwatch


HHS touts savings from ObamaCare program

Cardin praises FDA for effort on health disparities

House farm bill provision could delay new food safety regulations

Education campaign for ObamaCare questioned

Small business lobby to 'score' bill delaying ObamaCare mandate


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Please let us know:

Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351 / @sam_baker

Elise Viebeck: eviebeck@thehill.com / 202-628-8523 / @eliseviebeck