Coats Wants Funding Tied to Obamacare Progress
July 11, 2013 — Indiana’s senior United States senator wants to tie national healthcare funding to the Obama Administration’s ability to meet federal Affordable Care Act deadlines.
Republican Hoosier Senator Dan Coats offered an amendment to a Senate appropriation bill
to defund provisions in “Obamacare” if healthcare exchanges put in place by President Barack Obama’s healthcare law are not ready to enroll qualified prospective participants by the October deadline. “If the administration continues to miss its own deadlines in setting up these exchanges, why should the American people be taxed and penalized for not complying with the mandate to acquire health insurance?”
The Coats amendment to the Senate Fiscal Year 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill failed 14-16 in a vote along party lines. Senator Coats is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Coats’ amendment was similar to the Exchange Sunset Act of 2013, legislation recently introduced by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and cosponsored by Coats, who says, “The Obama Administration has repeatedly demonstrated that it isn’t prepared to implement its massive health care law, and as a result, Hoosiers are left with even more uncertainty about their future. . . The President and Congress should start over and work to reform our health care system with step-by-step, market-based solutions that will drive down costs for Hoosiers and increase access to quality care.”
Coats’ amendment about healthcare exchanges and individual mandate provisions would have prohibited funding if the exchanges are not operational by the October 1, 2013 Administration deadline. The Senator’s office says a recent report by the Government Accountability Office suggested the Administration has not been consistently on schedule in setting up the exchanges, and “the timely and smooth implementation of the exchanges by October 2013 cannot yet be determined.”