House to vote on ObamaCare mandate exemption Tuesday

Greg Nash

The House will vote Tuesday on a bill to exempt enrollees in failed nonprofit health insurers from ObamaCare’s individual mandate, according to the office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). 

{mosads}The measure is aimed at helping enrollees of three nonprofit health insurers set up under ObamaCare, known as co-ops, that have failed in the middle of this year, forcing people to find a new plan. 

Republicans argue that people facing this disruption should not have to pay ObamaCare’s financial penalty for lacking coverage if they do not enroll in a new plan. 

“At the same time this [law] is failing, the individual mandate remains in place,” McCarthy told reporters on Monday. “Is it fair if people purchased in a co-op and it collapses and we are holding them liable?”

At a committee session to consider the bill earlier this month, Democrats opposed the measure, but not with the same intensity that they usually hold for Republican-backed ObamaCare bills. 

Democrats said the bill might be unnecessary, given that people are provided a special sign-up period to choose a new plan if their coverage is terminated in the middle of the year. 

Republicans pressed Democrats, saying there was no harm in passing the measure. 

The GOP has been putting a new focus on legislation exempting people from the individual mandate. 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has put ObamaCare at the center of his reelection bid, earlier this month introduced a broader measure, to exempt people from the mandate penalty if they live in a county with just one ObamaCare insurer or none at all. 

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