A bipartisan call for delay of the individual mandate within the President's healthcare law

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By Congressman Robert Hurt

This week, after watching the failed roll out of Healthcare.gov take the spotlight, several new and unnerving facts emerged as Congress held hearings to investigate further the inner workings of the Administration’s handling and implementation of the President’s healthcare law. Maintaining and introducing the website should have been the simplest aspect of this complex piece of legislation, and if its failed roll out is any indication, it alarms me to think of what lies ahead.


The American people are now seeing that the President misled us about the consequences of this misguided law. The President promised the American people that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it;” yet, reports this week indicated that millions of people will lose their current plan, being forced to obtain plans that are much more expensive and may not allow them to see their current doctor. This fact was known to the Administration for more than three years, yet it continued to assuage Americans’ fears with a false promise. Apparently, the President’s motto should have stated that, “if the government likes your health care plan, the government will let you keep it.”


The President also promised that health care costs would decrease for everyone, saving on average $2,500 per family. Instead, rates and deductibles are skyrocketing, and Americans are not only facing higher healthcare costs, but some are being forced to reduce their working hours because of compliances being enforced by the ACA.


While members of Congress are trying to conduct oversight to get answers from the Administration about how and why this law is failing so badly, the Administration seeks to hide the truth from the American people. On October 8th, Congress requested enrollment figures; and while the Secretary did not offer up that information, major news outlets have recently reported that just 6 people enrolled in the exchanges on its first day. This is a testament to both the website’s inoperability and the fact that the American people are wary of government-run health care.


The Administration has admitted on numerous occasions that the President’s health care law is not working. Businesses, but not American citizens, have been granted a one-year delay from the law’s mandates, the website is a debacle, and there is little to no transparency when it comes to the law’s implementation. Now, it is time that individuals are granted the same reprieve from the Affordable Care Act that businesses have received. I am encouraged that some of our Democratic colleagues in the Senate have begun to call for a delay in the individual mandate, especially after Republicans in the House requested it last month. Ultimately, a full repeal of the damaging healthcare law is in the best interest of the American people; however, until we are able to achieve this long-term goal, I remain committed to ensuring its harm is minimized as much as possible through delaying its implementation.


If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.