In 2010, President Barack Obama and the Democrats sold Obamacare to hesitant lawmakers and an outraged public as a deficit-reducing bill. Now that the president has decided to delay implementation of the employer mandate–against the explicit provisions of the law, as well as Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution–Republican leaders are calling for the bill’s new cost to be tallied.
House and Senate Republican leaders have written a letter to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) requesting a cost estimate of the budgetary effects of the one-year delay of the Obamacare employer mandate and the new so-called “honor system” reporting requirements.
“To help Congress evaluate the complete impact of the Administration’s action to delay enforcement of the mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements, we are writing to request that the Congressional Budget Office, in consultation with the Joint Committee on Taxation, provide estimates of the announcement’s full budgetary effect–including outlays, revenues, and the federal deficit–of the provisions as the Administration intends to implement them,” says the letter.
“We also request estimates of changes to insurance coverage…Finally, please estimate the budgetary effects of a scenario where the Administration chooses to never implement the employer mandate and insurer reporting requirements.”
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Rep. Dave Camp, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Rep. John Kline (R-MN) all signed the letter.
It remains to be seen whether Democrats will join Republicans in investigating how the Administration’s recent spate of Obamacare policy changes will affect taxpayers.