House Republicans pass amendments to delay Obamacare for one year

House Republicans approved amendments to delay the enactment of the Affordable Care Act by one year, allow employers with “religious or moral objections” to opt out of certain insurance coverage requirements (such as birth control), and repeal the medical device tax in the continuing resolution to fund the federal government after Sept. 30th.  

President Barack Obama said that he will veto any bill that de-funds or delays the health care reform law, which is scheduled to fully take effect in 2014. The federal government will shut down on Tuesday unless Congress and the President reach an agreement on the budget.

Read more: Spotlight: Federal Budget 2013

“The House Republicans are so concerned with appeasing the Tea Party that they’ve threatened a government shutdown or worse unless I gut or repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said Obama. “That’s not going to happen.  More than 100 million Americans currently, already have new benefits and protections under the law.  On Tuesday, about 40 million more Americans will be able to finally buy quality, affordable health care, just like anybody else.  Those marketplaces will be open for business on Tuesday no matter what — even if there’s a government shutdown.  That’s a done deal.”

Obama said that he is willing to work with Republicans on specific proposals to improve the Affordable Care Act but not to gut, delay or repeal the law. He urged House Republicans to approve the Senate resolution continue funding the federal government past Monday.

“House Republicans will have to decide whether to join the Senate and keep the government open, or shut it down just because they can’t get their way on an issue that has nothing to do with the deficit,” said Obama. “If Congress chooses not to pass a budget by Monday — the end of the fiscal year — they will shut down the government, along with many vital services that the American people depend on.”

Read more: House Republicans threaten shutdown of federal government unless Obamacare is de-funded

H.J. Res. 59 passed 231 to 192 along party lines.

“The House has done its work.  We passed a bill on Saturday night, sent it to the United States Senate that would delay Obamacare for one year, and would eliminate permanently the medical device tax that is costing us tens of thousands of jobs that are being shipped overseas,” said House Speaker John Boehner. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the House amendments “pointless.”

“To be absolutely clear, the Senate will reject both the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax. After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one: Republicans must decide whether to pass the Senate’s clean CR, or force a Republican government shutdown,” said Reid. “Senate Democrats have shown that we are willing to debate and vote on a wide range of issues, including efforts to improve the Affordable Care Act. We continue to be willing to debate these issues in a calm and rational atmosphere. But the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists.”

House Republicans also passed a bill to continue paying military service members and contractors in the event of a government shutdown. H.R. 3210 was approved with a 423 to 0 vote. 

 

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