Boehner's Retort to Drudge: GOP Move Did Not Boost Obamacare

Image: Boehner's Retort to Drudge: GOP Move Did Not Boost Obamacare

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 11:21 AM

By Melanie Batley

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House Speaker John Boehner's office on Sunday slapped down a suggestion by the Drudge Report that Republicans had "expanded" Obamacare, adding the GOP had chipped away another piece of the new healthcare law in a measure within the budget announced last week.

Under the headline "Republicans Expand Obamacare?" the Drudge Report linked to an article by The Associated Press reporting that as part of the controversial "doc fix" measure in the budget, the House leadership eliminated a cap on deductibles for policies offered by small businesses within Obamacare.

"The episode marks the first time Republicans have agreed to make it easier for anyone to obtain coverage under the law," AP reported.

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The provision eliminated a cap on deductibles for small group policies offered inside the law's healthcare exchanges, as well as outside. The cap had been set at $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families, according to the AP.

Boehner aide Kevin Smith issued a rebuttal to the claims that the Republican legislation had bolstered Obamacare.

"Successfully repealing this Obamacare provision is just one part of Republicans' larger effort to repeal the full law and replace it with better solutions focused on lowering healthcare costs for families and small businesses," Smith wrote in a blog post.

Smith added that "repealing this provision will give employers more flexibility over the type of healthcare options they can offer their employees, and will expand the use of high-deductible plans paired with health savings accounts."

Democrats, nevertheless, describe the change involving small-business coverage options as an improvement to the healthcare law, the AP reported, quoting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said he believed the measure strengthened the law.

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