The Louisiana Republican will challenge the president's key legislative initiative.
Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, plans to introduce new legislation in order to push back the Affordable Care Act’s mandate, which requires individuals to purchase health coverage or else pay a penalty.
Scalise, in a statement released earlier this week, says he intends to push the date back from the end of next month to 2016. Susan Brooks, an Indiana Republican, joined Scalise in his fight to push back the law. Brooks has noted the new bill is intended to provide families the same extension President Obama gave unilaterally to businesses with 50 to 99 full-time workers, last week. The law will also require businesses with 100 and more full-time workers to provide health coverage to employees by 2015.
“President Obama does not have legal authority to unilaterally rewrite laws that pick winners and losers, but that’s exactly what this administration has attempted each time it delays the law for a select few. Hard-working taxpayers and their families deserve the same relief from the Affordable Care Act train wreck that select corporations are being offered by the White House,” said Scalise.
Despite the negative criticism, it may be for a good reason that President Obama is unlikely to issue a delay for the law’s individual mandate. The law’s mandate requires most Americans to obtain health coverage by March 31 or pay a penalty. In 2014, the penalty for individuals without health coverage is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, and up to $285 or 1 percent.
“Congressman Scalise is obviously trying to get the Creative Obstruction Award of the Year as he tries to find every single approach to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA.
“One reason this approach is so harmful is that a key objective is to keep premiums as low as possible and that means that every effort should be made to get as many people enrolled and to include in that enrollment younger and healthier people. Obviously what Scallise is proposing would have the opposite effect,” said Pollack.
Companies which employ 25 or fewer full-time workers have been given tax credits since the law’s enactment in 2010.