WASHINGTON — The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto legislation that Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock, has penned as part of an ongoing effort by the House GOP to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Last week, Griffin joined Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., in crafting two bills that would delay for one year the requirement that small businesses provide health insurance to employees and that individuals purchase insurance. The two members of the House Ways and Means Committee proposed the bills after the Obama administration announced the employer mandate would not go into effect for another year.
"Looks like the president was for delaying the employee mandate before he was against it, but regardless of where the administration is on the issue today, only Congress can change the law," Griffin said Tuesday. "It’s simply not fair to give businesses and labor unions relief from Obamacare and leave workers and families behind to deal with the devastating consequences."
The White House issued a "statement of administrative policy" saying the president would veto both bills if they reach his desk.
"The bills, taken together, would cost millions of hard-working middle class families the security of affordable health coverage and care they deserve," the administration wrote. "Rather than attempting once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which the House has tried nearly 40 times, it’s time for the Congress to stop fighting old political battles."
The employee mandate, which was supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, would require businesses with less than 50 workers to provide insurance or face paying penalties. The Obama administration decided earlier this month to delay the requirement to address complaints that business groups have raised about its burdensome reporting requirements.
The House is scheduled to vote on the bills this week.