House Speaker John A. Boehner has joined fellow Republican leaders in calling for a full delay of Obamacare for everyone, after the White House tweaked the law once more on Thursday by allowing people who recently lost coverage to buy a catastrophic plan if they cannot afford a better one on the law’s health exchanges.
“The administration’s action does nothing to address the problems at the center of the president’s health care law, or to help the families suffering its consequences,” the Ohio Republican said. “All Americans deserve a hardship exemption from this train wreck of a law, and a focus on patient-centered reforms that will help lower costs and protect jobs.”
Mr. Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and other GOP lawmakers say it is unfair that the Obama administration can change the law, citing flexibility, after their attempts to change the law were beaten back by the Democrat-controlled Senate and White House.
“Republicans warned of severe impending problems for Obamacare, but President Obama responded, ‘It is settled, and it is here to stay,’” Rep. John Fleming, Louisiana Republican, said. “Clearly, he meant to say it’s only settled for opponents of Obamacare, because the Obama administration itself continues to change the law unilaterally, in whatever way best suits its own interests.”
America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group, has warned that the latest move could create uncertainty in the insurance market, since people will be able to purchase watered down plans instead of buying higher level coverage.
“The health law is like a Jenga game — the administration keeps yanking out pieces, and ultimately nothing can keep it from collapsing,” Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Friday.