WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Top Republican leaders are calling for President Barack Obama to move back the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that individuals carry health insurance a week after the White House declared a one-year delay for businesses to implement the employer mandate.
In a letter to the president obtained by CBS News, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and several other Republicans say it’s not fair to American families and individuals to be forced to pay for health care while businesses get a reprieve until 2015.
“We agree with you that many of the provisions in the law cannot be implemented within the current time frame; but we strongly disagree with you that time will ever remedy these predictable consequences of the law,” the letter states. “Many have predicted the problems that your Administration now acknowledges, and each provision you delay continues to demonstrate that the entire law is unworkable.”
The letter added that families need the same kind of relief that businesses are getting.
Boehner called out Obama for his decision to delay a key part of the health care law during a press conference Tuesday.
“I think what the president did is outrageous. The idea that we’re going to give big businesses a break under ‘Obamacare’ but we’re going to punish small businesses and families, it’s wrong,” Boehner said. “And we’re going to have another vote, count on it.”
Cantor concurred, calling Obama’s actions “stunning.”
“I never thought I’d see the day when the White House, the president, came down on the side of big business but left the American people out in the cold as far as his health care mandate is concerned,” Cantor said. “We think strongly that the president’s actions were unfair that we ought to also remove this mandate from the individuals because it’s just not fair to sit here and impose on the people of this country the mandate while letting business off free.”
Cantor called for a permanent delay of the health care law.
The Obama administration decided to delay the employer mandate – which requires companies with 50 or more workers to offer affordable coverage to their employees or face potentially large fines – for one year after businesses complained about the complexities of the law.
The employer mandate is not the only delay the White House is dealing with. The Associated Press reports that the administration has notified insurers that a computer glitch will limit penalties that the law says the companies may charge smokers and that a fix will take at least a year to put in place.
CBS News reports that the White House has yet to respond to the letter.
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