WASHINGTON (July 18, 2013) — The U.S. House of Representatives has passed two bills delaying for one year the employer and individual mandate provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
H.R. 2667, which passed the House July 17 by a 264-161 vote, would defer until 2015 tax penalties against employers with more than 50 employees that don't provide basic health insurance coverage to employees. H.R. 2668, which passed the same day 251-174, would give individuals one more year to buy their own health insurance or face penalties.
These bills mark the 38th and 39th times that House Republicans have voted to repeal or change the ACA—popularly known as Obamacare — since the legislation became law in March 2010. The Democratic-led Senate will almost certainly not vote on the mandate delays, and President Barack Obama — who already announced a one-year delay on the employer mandate — has vowed to veto both bills.
Nevertheless, the votes won the praise of organizations such as the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which have opposed the healthcare law since its passage.
"The delays in Obamacare are further evidence that the law has problems and cannot be implemented in its current form," said Susan Eckerly, NFIB senior vice president of public policy.
"Delaying implementation of the individual mandate alongside the employer mandate may provide members of Congress with time and opportunity to solve some of the law's most grievous problems."