CBO: Thirteen Million Forced to Buy Insurance Policies They do not Want
House Votes to Delay Mandate, Restore Medicare Funding
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the House of Representatives cast a bipartisan vote to cancel scheduled cuts to physician pay under Medicare, and to delay the mandate that requires all Americans to purchase federally-approved health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The President has threatened to veto the measure, which makes changes to the federal health care law. While the House measure would delay the mandate for 5 years, President Obama has acted unilaterally to provide waivers for many people for just two years. For those who remain subject to the mandate, penalties may be much higher than initially expected. In the wake of the frequent and ongoing changes to the law, many Americans find themselves more and more confused.
While the President has frequently said he is open to changes to improve the law, he continues to reject legislation passed by Congress, and has not recommended any of his own. Instead he has unilaterally imposed delays and exemptions, which may make the program more unstable and costly. Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office finds that 13 million Americans would choose not to obtain insurance under the new health care law if they were not forced to under threat of penalty. Millions of Americans are therefore buying policies not because they are a good deal, but because they are forced to by the law. The President opposed these mandates and penalties before he was elected. With all the changes to the law, people are not signing up.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"The President and other supporters of the law have frequently said they want to fix it. Yet once again they have not offered any legislation for Congress to debate. Instead, supporters voted today to cut Medicare physician pay, and to force millions of Americans to purchase health insurance against their wishes. This is unfair. Too many people living paycheck to paycheck cannot afford the inflated cost of insurance policies due to the law.
We can expand patient choice, improve quality of care, and control costs – but not with more regulations and mandates, and not with more unilateral bandaid fixes by the President. The American people deserve a genuine debate on patient-centered care – one that takes advantage of market competition to respond to consumer choice – not federal rules."