GOP strategizes to delay individual mandate

Only a week after the Obama administration announced a one-year delay for the reform law's employer mandate, Republican lawmakers are hoping to also postpone the individual mandate.

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and 10 other top House Republicans wrote to President Barack Obama on Tuesday, asking him to explain why he delayed the employer mandate and not the individual mandate, Reuters reported.

"Is it fair for the president of the United States to give American businesses an exemption from his health care law's mandates without giving the same exemption to the rest of America? Hell no, it's not fair," Boehner told some House Republicans during a private meeting on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

The GOP leaders said they agree with the Obama administration that "the burden was overwhelming for employers," but added that "American families need the same relief."

They're hoping to legislate their way to an individual mandate delay by introducing two bills to the House next week, a senior GOP aide told the Wall Street Journal. One bill would codify the employer mandate delay and a second bill would postpone the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance.

And the American public seems to be on the Republicans' side, with 41 percent of 884 people surveyed by HealthPocket saying the individual mandate should be postponed.

But White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed the GOP's attempts to defer the individual mandate's implementation, Reuters noted. "Next year, millions of Americans will get the help they need to purchase quality health insurance they currently cannot afford," he said.

To learn more:
- read the Reuters article
- see the New York Times article
- check out the Wall Street Journal article
- here's the HealthPocket survey

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