In a symbolic vote meant to highlight the Obama administration’s decision to delay the implementation of a key part of its health care law, the GOP-led House passed bills Wednesday to stall parts of “Obamacare” despised by the GOP.
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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) arrives to speak to the media during his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, July 11, 2013 in Washington, DC.
The House voted to delay the individual mandate – the part of the law that requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a fine – by 251-174. The vote comes after the Obama administration announced that employers will have an additional year to meet the law’s requirement that larger businesses provide insurance for workers.
The chamber also approved a bill to delay that so-called employer mandate, with House leaders arguing that Congress – not the administration - must OK such a move.
That vote was 264-161 , with over 30 Democrats voting with almost all Republicans.
The White House has already announced that it will veto both pieces of legislation, which will undoubtedly be ignored by the Democratic-led Senate as well.
“Rather than attempting once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which the House has tried nearly 40 times, it's time for the Congress to stop fighting old political battles and join the President in an agenda focused on providing greater economic opportunity and security for middle class families and all those working to get into the middle class,” the Obama administration said in a statement.
The House has voted more than three dozen times to gut the health care law.
The vote comes as proponents of the law are pointing to New York state, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that health insurance premiums for individuals are expected to fallby 50 percent as the new law takes effect.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to tout the successes of the health care bill in remarks Thursday at the White House.
First published July 17 2013, 4:20 PM