House Republicans vote to delay Obamacare mandates

WASHINGTON Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:50pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, approved largely symbolic legislation aimed at undermining President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform law.

The measures, the 38th and 39th House bills to take aim at the 2010 reforms known as Obamacare, would delay for a year the requirement that Americans obtain health insurance and would codify the Obama administration's recent decision to delay the mandate for larger employers to offer health coverage.

The White House's surprise announcement of the one-year employer delay this month sparked a new wave of Republican anger over the healthcare law that threatens to bleed into other issues, such as government spending legislation, in the next fiscal year.

Obama administration officials have insisted that the law's core provision, the requirement for uninsured Americans to obtain subsidized coverage through new online exchanges, will remain in place. Those with no coverage will face tax penalties starting in January.

The House voted 264-161 for the individual delay, and 251-174 in favor of the employer delay, with some Democrats joining the Republican effort.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

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