GOP may vote again to delay Obamacare
By: Jake Sherman
October 25, 2013 02:12 PM EDT
The House Republican with direct oversight of Obamacare hinted that the GOP might, once again, vote to delay a critical component of the health care law.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) hinted Friday that the House might vote to delay the sign-up date for Obamacare. The current enrollment period lasts through March.
Upton’s committee had a high profile hearing Thursday with the contractors who built the troubled Obamacare website. Next week, Upton’s panel will hear from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“Since we had our hearing…there’s a number of members – Republican and Democrat – that are calling for a further delay in terms of signing things up,” Upton said during a taping of C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.” “We’re going to take a good look at that, and we’ll see where we are, maybe having some announcement next week or so, maybe a little longer than that”
Upton stressed that no final decisions have been made, but it's clear that House Republicans are moving toward more legislative remedies to put off elements of the Affordable Care Act.
Several Senate Democrats have spoken out in favor of delaying the date by which individuals must buy health insurance but they’re going about it in different ways. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is drafting legislation that would delay the individual mandate. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) want to extend the enrollment period.
“Discussions are starting,” Upton said in the television show taping, which included a reporter from POLITICO. “We learned a lot this last week, we’re going to learn more I presume this next week, and you know, this is people’s health care, it’s a lot of money out of their own pocket. Lot of changes are there too. And where this leads us, time will tell, but I think we’re going to try to take this evidence that we saw this week and see what adjustments we might be able to make, particularly since some of the headlines, even Friday in POLITICO, I think were almost every Democrat with a tough race has said, ‘we got big trouble’ right?”