Both Republicans and Democrats offered amendments to the health care bill today in the Rules Committee. They have no chance of getting a vote on the floor, but looking at the Republican amendments can provide some insights into the upcoming GOP campaign against the bill in the midterm.
Clearly the Republicans will attack the individual mandate and the IRS enforced penalty for not buying private insurance. Republicans offered a total of five different amendments to kill or effectively cripple the individual mandate:
|Brown-Waite (FL)||#66||Would repeal the individual mandate.|
|Brown-Waite (FL)||#67||Would repeal the sections of the bill that require the IRS to enforce the individual mandate.|
|Lummis (WY), Johnson, Sam (TX)||#41||Would allow States to opt out of any provisions of the bill to the extent that they mandate the purchasing of health insurance by residents in such State, mandate the provision of health insurance by employers in such State, or interfere with the ability of patients to privately contract with medical providers and insurers under the laws of such State|
|Gingrey (GA)||#27||Would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide for an opt-out process from the individual mandate for every American citizen.|
|Scalise (LA)||#65||Would strike the individual health care mandate.|
The individual mandate remains one of the most unpopular provision in the entire health care bill. Polling it has shown that offering a public alternative (public option or Medicare buy-in) dramatically reduced opposition to the individual mandate. Foolishly, Democrats choose to leave both public alternative out of this bill.
Don’t be surprised when the individual mandate starts appearing in many hard-hitting Republican attack ads in the coming months.