Top Treasury official: No more ObamaCare delays looming

A top Treasury official on Thursday suggested that his department has no current plans to delay additional provisions of the ObamaCare.

J. Mark Iwry, Treasury's deputy assistant secretary for retirement and health policy, told lawmakers that the employer mandate is the only policy that has been considered for deferral.

"We don't have any specific provision that we've identified for which we would give some relief," Iwry said in witness testimony. 

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A senior adviser to the Treasury secretary, Iwry appeared before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Thursday.

It was his second time testifying on the employer mandate delay in one week.

Republicans grilled Iwry on the legal justification for the administration's decision to push the policy's enactment to 2015.

GOP lawmakers also urged him to explain whether Treasury has the ability to also delay the individual mandate to buy health insurance.

Iwry replied that his department had not conducted the necessary analysis to answer that question.

The House on Wednesday passed legislation that would delay the rule that most individuals carry health coverage starting Jan. 1.

Republicans and some Democrats argued that individuals should not be required to comply next year if businesses will not be required to provide insurance until 2015.

On Thursday, the GOP pressured Iwry to explain why his department has not chosen to delay the individual mandate.

Iwry said that Treasury hasn't heard a reason to defer the policy that is "comparable" to the reasons cited for delaying the employer mandate.

Businesses had called for more flexibility in order to comply with elaborate reporting requirements under the rule.

In a moment of rage, Energy and Commerce Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said the administration was "trying to cater to big business but not to hardworking taxpayers."

She also accused the witness of mimicking the cadence of her speech in order to waste time.

The comment drew a rebuke from Democratic members, who said that Iwry's cadence had remained constant throughout the hearing.

Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.), the subcommittee's top Democrat, cited one major reason not to delay the individual mandate — the move would cause premiums to spike.

"If you delay the individual mandate for a year, many, many millions of Americans ... won't be able to get affordable health insurance through these [insurance] exchanges," DeGette said.

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