Alexander Votes to Delay Obamacare’s Individual, Employer Mandates

In party-line votes, Senate Democrats reject delay of individual mandate, and delay of employer mandate—in opposition to the president

WASHINGTON, July 11—The senior Republican on the U.S. Senate committee on health policy today voted to delay the new health care law’s employer mandate and individual mandate. The votes, on amendments offered in a Senate Appropriations Committee markup of the Senate Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014, failed in party-line votes, as Democrats voted against the measures.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said: “Republicans are working to protect Americans from this unraveling and unworkable law, but Democrats seem committed to enacting bad policies that even the president wants to delay until after the 2014 election. The whole law should be dismantled and replaced with effective legislation that will reduce costs by involving patients in health care decision-making.”

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the employer and individual mandate delay amendments, which were introduce by Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), would not cost the federal government.

Alexander introduced with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) legislation earlier this year to repeal the employer mandate. The senators also introduced a bill to repeal the individual mandate.

Alexander voted against the health care bill after warning his colleagues it would be “an historic mistake,” and has voted repeatedly to repeal it. He has specifically warned that the law would raise premiums.

In February 2010, Alexander was asked by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and then-House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) to represent Republicans at a summit at the White House to discuss the president’s proposed health-care law. He warned President Obama that premiums for millions of Americans with individual insurance would rise under the president’s proposal, and the president disputed Alexander’s charge.

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