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 NunesSchiff plans to obtain Deutsche Bank records of Trump's personal finances Comey’s confession: dossier not verified before, or after, FISA warrant GOP struggles to find right Republican for Rules MORE (Calif.) and Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyGOP lawmaker Mike Kelly wins reelection in Pennsylvania WaPo fact-checker accuses Republicans of misleading voters about fact-checks The Memo: Rust Belt race hinges on Trump 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Congress repealed the penalty associated with the individual mandate last year, but it doesn't take effect until 2019.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 RoskamIllinois New Members 2019 Defeated Republicans mocked by Trump fire back at president House GOP returns to Washington after sobering midterm losses MORE (R-Ill.) and Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessOvernight Health Care: House set to vote on bill targeting drug companies for overcharging Medicaid | Dems press Trump officials on pre-existing conditions | Tobacco giant invests .8B in Canadian marijuana grower GOP struggles to find right Republican for Rules Cards Against Humanity offering midterm expansion pack in effort to back Dems in key races 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.