Republicans wasted no time in switching tactics once the Supreme Court announced yesterday that President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare reform would stand.
Within hours 120 House Republicans proposed a new bill that would eliminate the individual insurance mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act.
"This tax will have tremendous consequences on individuals, working families, businesses, and local governments," main sponsor Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said in prepared remarks. "While Ohio families are still struggling under this economy, the President aims to place additional tax burdens on them that they simply cannot meet."
The individual insurance mandate, which the Supreme Court deemed valid under Congress’s right to levy taxes, will mean a $4 billion yearly tax increase by 2017, Turner noted, citing estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.
The mandate requires that all U.S. citizens either maintain a level of healthcare insurance coverage or face a penalty, and is one of the primary financial pillars of President Obama’s reform law.
"At a time when the economy is still struggling to recover, we should be focused on reducing taxes on hardworking Americans and providing incentives for businesses to grow and create jobs," Turner added. "This mandate will in fact act as a disincentive to hire new employees, as it may cost companies additional taxes."
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday to uphold the Affordable Care Act, and with it the 2.3% tax on all U.S. medical device sales beginning Jan. 1, 2013.