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Changes to Health Care Law Make Immigration Reform Harder

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Changes to Health Care Law Make Immigration Reform Harder
President must act to increase confidence

(Washington, D.C.) – As leaders in the House of Representatives prepare to unveil principles of immigration reform in the coming week, it is becoming increasingly apparent that support for these reforms is influenced by the negative experience with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Specifically, the plan for implementation of the health care law has changed in numerous ways since it was enacted – including delays in the Spanish language site and to the small business exchange, deferral of the employer mandate, exemption from the personal mandate for some people, exceptions for members of Congress and staff,many missed deadlines in adoption of rules, narrower provider networks than were promised, multiple extension of the high-risk pool, changed payment deadlines, and a number of other changes not specifically authorized in the law.
It is clear that a lack of confidence in how the law will be executed is making it harder to build support. Several members of the House of Representatives have expressed concern that the Administration may not effectively and faithfully implement the law as written and enacted. Even more troubling, the Administration is openly contemplating going beyond the law in areas such as Iran sanctions and labor laws. These actions make it less likely that Congress will trust the President with broad new immigration authority.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:

"Enacting comprehensive immigration reform will require leadership to reach across the aisle to bring together Members of Congress with very different priorities. And it will also take a President who has the trust of Congress to administer a complex law competently, and to faithfully execute the law as it is written, regardless of his personal view. Unfortunately, the President's track record with the health care reform law and other measures make it difficult for Congress to have this confidence. And frankly I don't blame them.

There are encouraging signs of movement on immigration, and there is a real chance to enact positive reforms this year. But unless the White House recognizes the real concerns that people have about how this law would be administered, it will be impossible to reach an agreement. Any reform bill should include specific timetables, spending levels, objectives, and other metrics. If Members of Congress and the American people do not have confidence that they are truly binding, there will not be enough support to pass a bill. Reform advocates are counting on the President to recognize this and to work in good faith with allies in Congress, from both parties."

For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Judy Pino, 202-578-6424 or Brian Faughnan, 571-257-3309.