KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Republicans’ Obamacare Twofer: 40th Repeal-Type Vote, Sen. Collins Blasts Employer Provision

News outlets covered Friday's vote in the House of Representatives to keep the IRS from enforcing parts of the Affordable Care Act and today's weekly GOP address by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. 

CBS News: GOP: Obamacare Hurts Employers And Employees Alike
As congressional Republicans continue their dogged effort to repeal Obamacare before the law is more fully implemented in 2014, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, warned that the health-care reform law will depress workers' earnings and inhibit job growth in the weekly Republican address on Saturday. "Effective health-care reform should provide Americans with access to quality and affordable care while also encouraging economic growth. That's not what is happening under Obamacare," Collins said (Miller, 8/3).

ABC News: Weekly Addresses: Obama Offers New 'Grand Bargain,' GOP Seeks to Modify 'Obamacare'
The Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide health insurance if they employ 50 or more people at 30 or more hours per week. The provision was designed to ensure employee coverage from large businesses. The requirement will take effect in 2015, after a one-year delay by the administration. Businesses who don't offer that insurance will face penalties. ... "If you employ 49 workers, there are no fines. But, if you add just one more employee, you're hit with penalties," Collins said (Good, 8/3). 

The Hill: Collins Tears Into ObamaCare
"Even worse, under Obamacare, anyone working an average of just 30 hours a week is considered full-time,” she said. “This will only cause some businesses to reluctantly reduce the hours of their workers to fewer than 30 hours per week.” ... Collins touted legislation she introduced to change the definition of “full-time employee” in ObamaCare from 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week (Easley, 8/3).

CNN: Sen. Collins Pushes For Change In Obamacare
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney argued in a press briefing last month that there is no data to indicate businesses are not hiring full-time employees because of the 30-hour mark. "I would say broadly that if you look at the economic data, the suggestion that the ACA is reducing full-time employment is belied by the facts," he said (8/3).

Los Angeles Times: House Passes New Bill Aimed At Undermining Obama Healthcare Package
Republicans in the House of Representatives passed another symbolic rebuke of President Obama’s healthcare law, ahead of a possible showdown over funding for the measure that threatens to shut down the government this fall. Friday’s vote on what was called the “Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act” was the House’s final vote before breaking for a five-week summer recess (Memoli, 9/2).

The New York Times: House Votes to Bar I.R.S. Action on Health Law
The bill, approved by a vote of 232 to 185, now goes to the Senate, where it has virtually no chance of approval. President Obama said he would veto the measure if it got to him. The House has now voted more than three dozen times to repeal or roll back some or all of the 2010 law, which is expected to provide coverage to 25 million people who lack health insurance. Under the law, the I.R.S. will play a key role. It will provide tax credits to low- and moderate-income people to help them buy private insurance. It can impose penalties on people who go without insurance (Pear, 8/2).

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