Boehner, Ryan: Give Us Honest Obamacare Numbers, Breaks for Families

Image: Boehner, Ryan: Give Us Honest Obamacare Numbers, Breaks for Families

Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 08:10 AM

By Andrea Billups and Melanie Batley

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Republicans are upping the ante in their campaign against Obamacare, demanding honest, concrete budget numbers on costs to the American taxpayer — and some of the same breaks for individuals that businesses have received recently as the law continues sputtering forward.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan is calling on the Obama administration to provide updated figures on the cost of its healthcare plan.

Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who heads the House Budget Committee, has called for a review of the Affordable Care Act from the Congressional Budget Office, seeking better information on what it will cost moving ahead,  The Hill reported.

House Speaker John Boehner, meanwhile, called on the administration Tuesday to grant individuals a reprieve from the healthcare law's coverage requirement — just like the White House did last week for larger employers.

In a letter to the president Tuesday, the Ohio Republican and 10 other GOP leaders said  "we also believe American families need the same relief."

The Republicans gave the president until July 16 to come up with answers as to why he chose not to delay the mandate for individuals, who will face a fine if they do not have health insurance by Jan. 1.

The letter frames a new Republican argument against the law, one that could gain traction in next year's congressional elections.

Last week, the administration unexpectedly announced a one-year delay in the employer requirement, saying more time was needed to work out technical issues.

The requirement for individuals survived a Supreme Court challenge, and experts say it will be far more important in getting people to sign up than the employer requirement.

Under the latest tweaks to the law, consumers will not be required to verify incomes for another year, and large employers, who have complained the new insurance changes are out of hand, will not have to make payments for employees until 2015.

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Is About to Strike Are You Prepared?

Republicans are very skeptical of the measure's ability to close the nation's budget deficit — as supporters have claimed in pushing its passage amid much nationwide concern. The total cost of Obamacare and how that might impact the budget deficit have sparked heavy debate with opponents who say that the more people who are enrolled, the more that will likely outpace any revenue raised with the proposed savings.

House Republicans are already raising deep concerns over the delays in implementing some of the law's key measures, Fox News reported. They say these quick changes show cracks in the law's sustainability as the administration uses its authority to hold off on implementing the law fully.

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, a Tennessee Republican, has asked the Congressional Research Service to investigate the latest moves.

"This action raises a lot of questions about whether the Obama administration can simply ignore the law when it's convenient for them," Roe said in a statement. "… I don't think any president has the authority to pick and choose what parts of the law to follow."

Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, who chairs the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, will hold hearings on Wednesday to take a look at the Obama administration's changes to the law.

California Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also expressed concern, calling the administration's delays "another in a string of extralegal actions," Fox News said.



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