Ben Domenech | Obamacare: The coming delay and defund battle

The House votes to delay the employer and individual mandates, teeing up a battle in the fall over the CR which could be explosive. “House lawmakers on Wednesday voted to approve two separate bills amending portions of the Affordable Care Act, the latest moves by the GOP to try to throw up hurdles to the Obama health law. The first bill would codify the year-long delay to the obligation on companies to provide health care coverage to their workers from next year. The second would delay a similar obligation on individuals to purchase health-care insurance. The vote on the first bill delaying the employer mandate passed 264-161, with 35 Democrats joining Republicans in supporting it. The vote on the second legislation was approved by a vote of 251-174. On that measure, 22 Democrats sided with the majority. Neither bill is expected to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate. The White House said the president would veto either bill if it was advanced to his desk by Congress.” Keep in mind that on the employer mandate vote, he’s promising to veto something which simply codifies what he’s doing already.

What we’re seeing here is a shift from the Repeal and Replace battle to the Delay and Defund battle. This is ground where it’s more difficult for Democrats in swing districts to oppose the attempt. On the employer mandate, one in six House Democrats bucked their president. On the individual mandate, one in nine House Democrats did. Privately, many Democratic staffers have expressed a willingness to delay the law and “implement it right” as opposed to running in a year when the implementation is providing daily reminders of the administration’s failure to measure up to its promises.

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