House Republicans are in discussions about repealing or delaying ObamaCare’s employer mandate to offer health insurance, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said Tuesday.
Brady told reporters that he has discussed the idea with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, as well as other members of the Ways and Means Committee.
“We’ve discussed that with him as well as committee members, so yeah, there is that discussion, and I’d like to see us make progress there,” Brady said.
He said he hopes relief from the mandate, which imposes a financial penalty on businesses with 50 or more employees that do not offer health coverage for their workers, would be retroactive to prevent employers for being penalized for not offering coverage back to 2015, when the mandate took effect.
“We want to make sure our businesses aren’t caught up in some sort of fines or punitive measures for the past three years,” Brady said. “I think the goal would be to delay or repeal it in total, but retroactive as well.”
The employer mandate is generally not seen as a core part of ObamaCare. It has drawn opposition from business groups who say it is a burden.
With more sweeping ObamaCare repeal efforts appearing unrealistic at the moment, Republicans are shifting to chipping away at certain parts of the law. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) earlier Tuesday called for an “incremental” approach to health-care reform.
The individual mandate requiring consumers have health-care coverage or pay a penalty, which is seen as a more central part of the law, was already repealed in the GOP tax-reform bill in December.