Archive for Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jenkins’ bill to delay Obamacare mandate passes House

March 5, 2014

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The U.S. House today passed a bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Kansas to delay the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare.

The 250-160 vote fell largely along party lines and represented the 50th time the Republican-controlled House has voted to delay, defund or repeal all or part of President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

The bill is given little chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate, however. And even if it does, President Obama has already threatened to veto it.

Jenkins, who introduced the bill just last week, said it is a response to the Obama administration's actions to delay mandates that large- and medium-sized employers provide health coverage to their workers.

“Aside from the fact that it is fundamentally unfair to give businesses special treatment that is not extended to individuals, American families have also been forced to deal with the botched rollout of healthcare.gov, and a series of confusing administration delays of the law issued via blog posts,” Jenkins said during debate on the bill.

Twenty-seven Democrats crossed the aisle to vote in favor of the bill. Only one Republican voted no.

Under current law, starting this year, most individuals are required to have some form of health insurance. Those who don't face paying a penalty on their income taxes of $95, or 1 percent of their income, whichever is less. That penalty would increase to $325, or 2 percent of income, in 2015; and $695, or 2.5 percent of income, in 2016 and thereafter.

Jenkins' bill would push the penalty schedule back one year, meaning people who do not get coverage would face no penalty this year.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that would result in 4 million fewer people gaining health coverage over the next three years. But it would save the federal government about $10 billion over five years, mainly because the government would not have to pay for the subsidies of people who will decide not to get insurance.

The individual mandate is considered critical to the success of the overall program because enrolling young, healthy, low-risk individuals - those who are now the least likely to get coverage on their own - helps lower the cost of insuring the elderly, disabled and people with pre-existing conditions.

“Well, here they go again,” said Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., who called the bill a “House Republican goose egg for millions of Americans.”

Jenkins countered that the Affordable Care Act has already been hampered by the troubled roll-out of healthcare.gov, the website of the federal health insurance exchange where people are supposed to be able to enroll in subsidized health coverage.

"In my state, Kansas, the latest consensus information estimates that 356,000 folks are uninsured," Jenkins said. "At the last count, only 22,000 of those individuals have enrolled on healthcare.gov."

Many of those uninsured were supposed to gain coverage through an expansion of Medicaid. But Kansas so far has chosen not to offer expanded Medicaid coverage because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that states cannot be compelled to take part in that portion of the health care law.

Comments

Joshua Montgomery 1 year, 1 month ago

So Lynn's singular accomplishment as a representative from Kansas is to sponsor the 50th meaningless attempt to delay universal health care.

I've known Margie Wakefield for over 10 years and am confident that she'd get more done in Washington.

I don't want a representative that represents a party. I want a representative who represents Kansas.

http://wakefieldforkansas.com

Fred Mertz 1 year, 1 month ago

So if the majority of Kansans are against, let's say abortion or gay marriage, then Margie will also be against them? Doubt it.

James Howlette 1 year, 1 month ago

63% of Kansans support either gay marriage or civil unions at this point according to 2013 polling. I couldn't find a poll more recent than 2011; however, most Kansans dislike abortion but want to keep it legal. And most of them want to keep the ACA at this point, too. Dagnabit!

Perhaps it's the GOP that should reevaluate the popularity of their positions.

James Howlette 1 year, 1 month ago

Google is awesome and just as available to you as it is to me.

PPP Feb 24, 2014 - sorry, more recent than 2013.

" ... Yet only 32% of voters reject both marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples, and even a majority of Republicans (53%) favor either marriage or civil unions." http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2014/02/kansas-voters-oppose-controversial-denial-of-service-bill.html

http://www.kansas.com/2011/06/10/1886057/ght-and-wrong.html

Americans in general oppose defunding the ACA http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/robert-schlesinger/2013/09/23/new-polls-deflate-the-push-to-defund-obamacare-or-have-a-shutdown

Kansas supports expanding Medicaid. http://www.khi.org/news/2014/feb/26/poll-finds-widespread-medicaid-expansion/

Fred Mertz 1 year, 1 month ago

Google. Never heard of it. Like how you spin the numbers. Since the poll indicated only 40 supported gay marriage it means 60 percent, a majority, do not support gay marriage.

But that wasn't my point. My point is it is BS to think a politician is going to represent all of their constituents. They will run on a party platform and if elected will act based on that platform which will represent their base and not those that didn't vote for them.

James Howlette 1 year, 1 month ago

The majority support either gay marriage or civil unions, which is exactly what I said. If you question civil union supporters, mostly it's the word "marriage" that trips them up, and they'd be fine with identical but separately labeled set of rights being granted to gay couples. Potato, potahto. It's also a far cry from Kansas calling out for more anti-gay legislation, which is the message the current legislature seems to be hearing.

I agree. It is BS to think a politician will support all their constituents, because all their constituents don't have identical opinions on all the issues, but what you asked about where specific examples where, as it turns out, your assumption about popular opinion was flawed. That's really the problem I'm highlighting in a nutshell. The GOP has made themselves far more extreme in recent years, and they're in a closed loop, no longer in touch with the population in general, and often even out of step with the Republican base.

That said, it is possible to have a candidate who is a member of a particular party but breaks away from the party line on issues that better represent ALL the state's constituents and not just the base.

Fred Mertz 1 year, 1 month ago

It is possible but rare. Nancy Boyda did. Voted for her twice and vote for her again.

James Howlette 1 year, 1 month ago

Honestly, I'd prefer we nix the party system and just vote on individuals.

Kevin Millikan 1 year, 1 month ago

“Aside from the fact that it is fundamentally unfair to give businesses special treatment that is not extended to individuals, American families have also been forced to deal with the botched rollout of healthcare.gov, and a series of confusing administration delays of the law issued via blog posts,” Jenkins said during debate on the bill.

You mean, like cutting all taxes for business in Kansas and then passing it on to the people that can't afford more bills Lynn?

James Howlette 1 year, 1 month ago

Or intentionally creating a Medicaid gap by refusing to take the money to expand the program? Medicaid expansion is another idea popular with the people of Kansas but not their legislators. Hmm, there seems to be a theme here.

Frank McGuinness 1 year, 1 month ago

I genuinely wish this Congresswoman would spend time addressing the pressing issues of her constituents (I paid $4.39 a gallon for propane last month) vs a futile attempt to change something that will not be repealed under this president.

Julius Nolan 1 year, 1 month ago

Lynn got her orders from the Koch brothers, she is simply following orders. If she doesn't she'll have to go out and look for a real job with real responsibilities.

Steve King 1 year, 1 month ago

What a waste of time and money. We could do better but they set the rules.

Bob Smith 1 year, 1 month ago

Whatever the House passes, the implementation of the ACA mandates are subject to being delayed by imperial whim.

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