U.S. House Republicans commit to delay of Obamacare tax provision

WASHINGTON Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:26pm EDT

U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) arrives for meetings at the Republican National Committee offices on Capitol Hill in Washington October 23, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) arrives for meetings at the Republican National Committee offices on Capitol Hill in Washington October 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congressional Republican leaders said on Wednesday they were committed to delaying a tax penalty provision in the health care law and would use oversight powers to hold President Barack Obama's administration "accountable" for problems with its launch.

Republican leaders have complained about a lack of transparency surrounding problems with the launch of the government run health care insurance exchanges on October 1, saying that House Democrats were briefed by administration officials, but Republicans were not.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Wednesday that Republicans would seek to delay a requirement of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as "Obamacare," that all Americans obtain health insurance or face a tax penalty starting next year - at least until questions over the rollout of the Healthcare.gov website and detrimental effects of the law can be cleared up.

"The rollout of Obamacare is nothing short of a debacle, and the American people are now fearful of their healthcare," Cantor told reporters after a meeting with House Republicans. "With so many unanswered questions and the problems arising around this rollout, it doesn't make any sense to impose this one percent mandate tax on the American people."

Republicans have opposed the healthcare law, Obama's signature domestic policy achievement, on grounds that it is an unwarranted expansion of the federal government.

House Speaker John Boehner said that Republicans would use their oversight powers to conduct hearings into problems with the main federal insurance exchange website, as well as other problems with the law, including reports that it is causing employers to drop their own health care plans.

"Whether it's Obamacare or issues with the Department of Defense, It's our job to hold them accountable. And when it comes to Obamacare, there's a lot to be held accountable," Boehner said.

He said the party would continue to press for government spending cuts, despite House Republicans' failure to halt funding for Obamacare in a fight this month over a government shutdown and the federal debt limit.

(Editing by Vicki Allen and Grant McCool)

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Comments (38)
AlkalineState wrote:
House Republicans Look to Muddy Up Obamacare.

House Republicans Form Panel to Investigate Why Obamacare is Muddy.

Oct 23, 2013 12:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
rja-canada wrote:
What a despicable group of lawmakers! All their time is spent trying to tear something down rather than finding ways to do some good for the country and its people. Let’s hope the electorate remembers this travesty of governance in 2014

Oct 23, 2013 12:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:
We need another good Dr. Seuss speech from Ted Cruz. That’ll get things working.

Oct 23, 2013 1:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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