Sen. Moran Joins Sen. Rubio in Introducing Bill to Delay Obamacare Mandate Until Websites Are Fully Functional
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) joined U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in introducing the “Delay Until Fully Functional Act”, a bill delaying the individual mandate under Obamacare until six months after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) certifies that the Exchange website is fully functional. Companion legislation was introduced by U.S. Representative Trey Radel (R-Fla.) in the House.
“It is unfair for the federal government to punish individuals for not doing something the government is requiring them to do when the Administration’s incompetence has made it impossible for them to comply,” Sen. Moran said. “I believe the entire law should be repealed and replaced, but until that becomes possible Kansas individuals and families must be protected from the disasters created by Obamacare.”
The “Delay Until Fully Functional Act” would delay the Obamacare individual mandate and require that GAO – the independent, nonpartisan agency known as the “congressional watchdog” – study and report to Congress on the Obamacare website and its health insurance Exchanges within 30 days. If the GAO study says these Exchanges are not fully functional, GAO will do subsequent studies and reports every 60 days until the Comptroller General determines that the Exchanges are fully functional.
The legislation has been endorsed by FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform and the National Taxpayers Union. The full text of the Senate bill is available here.
In July, President Obama acknowledged that a significant component of Obamacare is broken and delayed enforcement of the employer mandate. The following week, Sen. Moran offered amendments in the Senate Appropriations Committee to delay both the employer mandate and individual mandate. Unfortunately, both amendments were defeated in party-line votes.
As Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, last week Sen. Moran called on Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius to answer questions about the true cost of implementing the Obamacare health insurance Exchanges. Sen. Moran is committed to making certain the Obama Administration is held accountable for its use of taxpayer dollars, especially considering the systemic problems plaguing the ACA website, healthcare.gov.
Over the past year, $1.7 billion in taxpayer funds have been used by HHS for Exchange implementation. This funding came exclusively from HHS’ internal transfer of funds to the Exchanges – a decision that avoided Congressional approval. Sen. Moran believes the Obama Administration must account for exactly how much money has been spent on developing and implementing healthcare.gov, whether HHS intends to recover payments made to the contractors responsible for the website’s enormous failings, what specific testing was done before the launch, and the timeline and detailed cost breakdown for fixing the problems. He also asked HHS for details of its contingency plans if the technical issues with the Exchanges cannot be fixed in a timely fashion. Click here to read Sen. Moran’s letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius.
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