Heck Votes to Delay Mandates in Still Uncertain Health Care Law

Jul 17, 2013 Issues: Health

Heck: If businesses get a break, families should too

WASHINGTON - Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) today released the following statement after voting in support of two bills to delay certain portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

"Business owners around the Las Vegas valley have repeatedly told me that the health care law's employer mandate is going to make it more expensive and more difficult for them to do business," Rep. Heck said. "With one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, government mandates that prevent businesses from expanding or cause them to decrease work hours could be disastrous for Nevada workers. While I still believe the employer mandate needs to be repealed entirely, this delay will hopefully give business owners time to gain a better understanding of the law and prevent short term damage to the economy."

Rep. Heck continued, "The administration chose to protect big business while ignoring middle class families and individuals that are just as concerned about how the law's individual mandate will affect them. Many people I hear from worry about increasing costs and insurance premiums which could make it more difficult for them to provide for their families. I supported the individual mandate delay because I have always believed that we should create incentives for people to purchase insurance and participate in the greatest health care system in the world, rather than punish them for not complying with a government mandate.”

The Authority for Mandate Delay Act, H.R. 2667, amends PPACA to delay until 2015 the provision that requires employers with more than 50 employees to offer health insurance to employees. This bill gives Congressional authority to the Obama Administration's announcement earlier this month regarding its plan to delay the employer mandate. H.R. 2668, the Fairness for American Families Act, delays until 2015 the requirement that individuals maintain minimal essential health care coverage, also known as the individual mandate. It was this provision, and the fine associated with not purchasing insurance, that the Supreme Court ruled was a tax and thus allowed for the law to be upheld.

With uncertainty surrounding the law continuing, Congressman Heck introduced legislation that would replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the event of a full repeal of that bill. The Ensuring Quality Health Care for All Americans Act ensures that in the event of a repeal of PPACA, consumer protections and access to health insurance coverage would be maintained. Those provisions would continue to provide stability for those people with insurance and keep the options available for those without insurance.

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