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House GOP Proposes One-Year Delay To Obamacare

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
September 28, 2013

House Republicans have settled on a plan to amend the government funding bill.

That plan includes both a one-year delay in implementing Obamacare and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s medical devices tax.

Republicans exiting their closed-door meeting say they are united behind this strategy.

“I think conservatives are winning,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas. “Stop Obamacare and not stop the government is what we’re hearing from folks at home, so I think leadership’s listened.”

Republicans insist their proposal doesn’t have to lead to a government shutdown, and could even get some Democratic support in the Senate.

That is unlikely. Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington State weighed in promptly after the proposal was announced:

“By pandering to the Tea Party minority and trying to delay the benefits of health care reform for millions of seniors and families, House Republicans are now actively pushing for a completely unnecessary government shutdown.”

A vote is expected around 5 p.m. ET today.

Our Original Post:

All eyes are on a pair of closed wooden doors in the basement of the Capitol. Behind those doors, in room HC-5, House Republicans are plotting their next move in the ongoing shutdown showdown.

On Friday, the Senate approved a short-term spending bill aimed at avoiding a government shutdown. What it didn’t do was defund the Affordable Care Act.

That’s what a handful of Senate Democrats and a larger contingent of House Republicans have been demanding in exchange for keeping the government funded.

It’s now the House’s move, as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted yesterday:

House Republicans say they intend to attach something to the spending bill and send it back to the Senate. Just what to attach is what’s being discussed behind those closed doors.

Possibilities include a one-year delay of the Obamacare individual mandate or a repeal of the medical devices tax that’s part of the law.

The key for House Speaker John Boehner is coming up with a plan that can get near unanimous support from his conference. That’s because he won’t be getting any votes from House Democrats.

And if one of these Obamacare-related add-ons passes, it will run into a buzz saw in the Democratically controlled Senate. At least, that was the warning yesterday from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

The countdown to shutdown is on. If there’s no agreement, the shutdown starts Tuesday. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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