Study: Obamacare Has Been Amended or Delayed 19 Times

Wednesday, 11 Sep 2013 07:02 PM

By Cathy Burke

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As Republican congressmen push for a halt or outright repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a new report Wednesday revealed a slew of changes and delays in the Obama administration’s signature healthcare law.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported President Barack Obama has signed 14 laws that amend, rescind, or otherwise change parts of his healthcare law – and in addition, has taken five independent steps to delay the law on his own, the Washington Times reported.

In its report to Republican Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, the CRS said all sides have already agreed to the 14 laws that changed parts of Obamacare, noting the changes were usually minor, or were clarifications.

The first change in the original law came a month after it was signed into law, when Congress specified eligibility for veterans who are part of a healthcare program serving uniformed service members, retirees, and their families known as TRICARE.

Over the next two years, Congress tweaked similar eligibility requirements, the Times reported.

But the CRS said the president and Congress also made big changes, including repealing what all sides agreed to be a burdensome income reporting tax on small businesses, repeatedly dipping into provisions of the new law to use money for other spending.

Those cuts included $6.25 billion from Prevention and Public Health and recapturing some of the money that was expected to be overpaid in subsidies to users of the health exchanges, the Times reported.

Obama also acted on his own to declare five separate delays this year, the most recent of which instituted a one-year delay on checking the applicants for exchanges to see if they should have employer-based coverage.

It’s not the first time the CRS has weighed in on the rollout.

The service also prepared a report showing the Obama administration has missed half or more of the legal deadlines relating to implementation of the new law, the National Review reported last month.

The report noted that as of May 31, the White House had yet to meet nine of 12 deadlines from the first year after the Affordable Care Act was enacted, failed to meet 22 of 53 deadlines in the second year, and in the third year, missed 10 out of 17 deadlines, the National Review reported.

Another eight became moot after Congress did not appropriate funds to complete the assigned tasks, for a total of 41 out of 82 deadlines missed, the National Review reported.

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