Congressional GOP: Who Decided on Obamacare Mandate Delay?

Tuesday, 23 Jul 2013 05:12 PM

By Dan Weil

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Republicans in Congress want to know from the Obama administration who made the decision to postpone the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate.

The law requires that businesses with 50 or more full-time workers offer them health insurance starting Jan. 1, 2014 or pay a fine. But White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett announced early this month that the mandate is being suspended for a year.

Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., questioning whether the delay is constitutional, said at a congressional hearing Tuesday, "We also have to ask who was involved in this decision and when it was ultimately made?" The Hill reports.

He wants to know, "Was this a last-minute decision with no coordination with other federal agencies? Or was this a carefully orchestrated effort developed long before the decision was announced?”

Roe and Michigan GOP Rep. Tim Walberg, chairman of the House subcommittee on Workforce Protections, asked Howard Shelanski, the Obama administration's regulations czar, to explain the mandate decision earlier this month.

But he refused, saying the decision was outside the bailiwick of his department: the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Suspension of the mandate indicates the Obama administration is having trouble implementing the healthcare reform law, experts say.

"It does seem to me the delay raises questions as to whether the Obama administration is really ready for prime time," Nick Tate, author of the "ObamaCare Survival Guide," tells Newsmax.

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