House panel advances bill that would temporarily halt ObamaCare's employer mandate

House panel advances bill that would temporarily halt ObamaCare's employer mandate
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The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved legislation that would chip away at ObamaCare, including a measure that would temporarily repeal the law's employer mandate. 

The bill sponsored by GOP Reps. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesA Republican Watergate veteran's perspective on a Trump impeachment Meet the lawyer at center of whistleblower case: 'It is an everyday adventure' Intelligence watchdog huddles with members as impeachment push grows MORE (Calif.) and Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyHouse votes to repeal ObamaCare's 'Cadillac tax' GOP lawmaker: 'I'm a person of color. I'm white.' Trump signs bipartisan IRS reform bill MORE (R-Pa.) would suspend penalties for the employer mandate for 2015 through 2019 and delay implementation of the tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans for another year, pushing it back to 2022.

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Congress repealed the penalty associated with the individual mandate last year, but it doesn't take effect until 2019.

"I think it's fair, if we relieve the burden for individuals, that we stand with our small and mid-sized companies," Kelly said.

Powerful lobbying groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have pushed for a repeal of the employer mandate.

The other measure, sponsored by Reps. Peter Roskam Peter James RoskamEx-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm Blue states angry over SALT cap should give fiscal sobriety a try Illinois Dems offer bill to raise SALT deduction cap MORE (R-Ill.) and Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessTrump officials propose easing privacy rules to improve addiction treatment House approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran MORE (R-Texas), would allow the use of ObamaCare's tax credits for plans outside of the exchanges in the individual market. It would also allow anyone to purchase a catastrophic plan — plans that are cheaper but cover fewer services and are currently only available for those under the age of 30.

The bill "provides a much needed offramp for pressure people are feeling right no in terms of premiums increases and limited choices," Roskam said.

Both measures advanced on party-line votes.

Democrats opposed the bills, saying they would cost too much and destabilize ObamaCare.