House votes to delay Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty


McClatchy Washington Bureau

The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to delay the Affordable Care Act’s penalty on individuals who fail to sign up for health insurance.

President Barack Obama vowed to veto the bill, which would suspend the healthcare law’s fine of $95 or 1 percent of taxable income imposed on Americans who don’t purchase insurance policies for 2014. Next year, the penalty is slated to go up to $325, or 2 percent of taxable income.

Proposed by Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, a Republican, the Simple Fairness Act passed 250-160, with 27 Democrats voting in favor of the measure.

The last time the House voted on a bill dealing with the individual mandate, 22 Democrats voted against it, Jenkins said.

“I am pleased that 27 House Democrats joined with House Republicans to listen, and provide relief and fairness to all middle-class families through the legislative process whether or not the president approves,” she said in a statement after Wednesday’s vote.

Some Democrats who face tough campaigns in this fall’s midterm elections have been distancing themselves from Obamacare – or indicating an increased willingness to modify it – after the law’s rocky roll-out in October, including a glitch-filled debut of federal and state healthcare websites.

Despite the Democratic defections, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed Wednesday’s vote as a waste of time, and pointed out that it marked the 50th time the Republican-led House of Representatives had voted fruitlessly to alter or repeal Obamacare.

“The House Republican agenda feels like déjà vu all over again,” Pelosi said in a statement. “As if the first 49 votes were not enough to satisfy the Republican fixation on undoing health reform, the Republican leadership is prepared to make yet another attempt – their 50th try – to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act. Americans deserve better.”

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  • Penn State hires former Cal AD to lead program

    Penn State has hired Sandy Barbour as athletic director, a month after she stepped down as AD at the University of California-Berkeley.

FILE - This May 20, 2014, file photo shows Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Michelle Nunn in Atlanta as she speaks to her supporters after her primary win was announced at an election-night watch party.  Minutes after David Perdue won his Republican Senate primary in Georgia, a grainy image of  Nunn was on Atlanta TV as a faceless voice slammed her as a rubber stamp for President Barack Obama. In turn, Democrats portray Perdue as a greedy executive who laid off workers. It’s all a clear indicator of what the next three months hold for a first-time Democratic candidate who may be the party's only hope for picking off a GOP-held Senate seat in November.

    GOP works to avert Senate upset in Georgia

    Republicans are on the offensive in the opening days of Georgia's general election Senate campaign, hammering Democrat Michelle Nunn as a rubber stamp for President Barack Obama and questioning her resume as a non-profit executive — the very experience that anchors her appeal as a moderate who gets things done without partisan wrangling.

FILE - In this March 8, 2010 file photo, US Ambassador to Kuwait Deborah Jones is seen in Kuwait City. On Saturday, July 26, 2014,The United States shut down its embassy in Libya and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said.  On Sunday, July 20, 2014, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones tweeted about “heavy shelling and other exchanges” of fire in the vicinity of the embassy.

    US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

    The United States shuttered its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry said "free-wheeling militia violence" prompted the move.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category