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Public Statements

H.R. 2667, The Authority for Mandate Delay Act and H.R. 2668, The Fairness for American Families Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to both H.R. 2667, the Authority for Mandate Delay Act, and H.R. 2668, the Fairness for American Families Act. Here we are once again taking another cheap shot at the Affordable Care Act (ACA), rather than working to continue providing its benefits to the American people. Both pieces of legislation are political stunts which will not help Americans get access to quality, affordable health care.

There is no need for passage of H.R. 2667 since the President has already acted to delay by one year the employer responsibility requirements under ACA. Given the fact that this type of change has long been sought by my friends on the other side of the aisle and their allies, you would think they would be praising the President for taking this action. Instead, they have done nothing but used this as another opportunity to score cheap political points, which is very telling.

Although I wish the employer responsibility provision would be implemented on time, the fact of the matter is that this delay will have very little practical impact. Over ninety six percent of large employers already offer health coverage to their employees. It is important that we take our time in getting these new reporting requirements right, which is exactly what the President is doing. Since the President has already acted in this manner, H.R. 2667 is duplicative and unnecessary.

H.R. 2668 also should be rejected by this body. The individual mandate is the cornerstone of the ACA, and the Supreme Court has affirmed its constitutionality. Simply put, delaying the implementation of the individual mandate is just a back door attempt to undermine the entire law. The Affordable Care Act has already brought many benefits to the American people. Thanks to the law, 206,000 people in my district have access to preventative services without a co-pay, and 8,500 young adults have health insurance through their parents' plan. Adopting this bill today would jeopardize this progress we have made in recent years.

Today we received news that health insurance premiums will fall by an average of 50 percent in New York once their exchanges are up and running in 2014. The individual mandate is a key reason for this. For years, New York had a prohibition on discriminating against individuals with a pre-existing condition. However, the state did not require all individuals to purchase insurance, which caused rates to skyrocket. The individual mandate, combined with the new health insurance marketplaces, are in large part responsible for this precipitous decline in insurance rates in New York. We should ensure that these results are replicated in my home state of Michigan and across the rest of the country. Repealing the individual mandate will increase Americans' health care costs, not decrease them.

I hope we can come together and work in a bipartisan manner to improve our health care system and provide real benefits to the American people. Until that day comes, I urge my colleagues to join me in voting against these two pieces of legislation, as they are nothing more than political stunts which do nothing to address the problems we face as a nation.

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