Week ahead: GOP focuses on employer mandate delay


The House is set to vote this week on bills to delay both the employer mandate and the individual mandate.

Neither has a chance of becoming law, but the real goal is to put Democrats on the record opposing delays that the GOP argues are only fair.

Since the administration announced the delay in the employer mandate, Republicans have aggressively accused the White House of setting up a double standard by giving businesses a break from the requirement to offer insurance while leaving in place the mandate requiring individuals to buy it.

And while they have celebrated the setback for ObamaCare implementation, Republicans have also said the delay was illegal.

Two House committees will hold hearings this week highlighting the delay.

On Wednesday, the Ways and Means Health subcommittee will hold its second hearing in two weeks on the delay, this time with a witness from the administration.

The Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled its own hearing Thursday on the delay. A witness list has not yet been released.

The Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee is also scheduled to hold a hearing Monday on federal oversight of drug compounding.

On Wednesday, two House committees will examine the data hub for newly created insurance exchanges. 

The data hub is designed to serve as a unified system through which the government can quickly verify information about people applying for tax credits to buy insurance. The hub must interact with several federal agencies, including the IRS, while also processing information from insurance companies.

Subcommittees of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Homeland Security Committee will hold a joint hearing Wednesday on the “privacy, security, and fraud concerns with ObamaCare’s information sharing apparatus.”

Also on Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on how health information technology is improving healthcare quality.

A group of Senate Republicans has also scheduled a press conference Wednesday to make the case for repealing the healthcare law’s tax on insurance plans.