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Lawmakers vote to repeal health plan auto-enrollment requirement

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The House Education and Workforce Committee on Wednesday approved on a 22-15 vote a proposal that would repeal the health care reform law's requirement that companies with 200 or more employees automatically enroll workers in the employer's health plan if the worker does not respond to the offer of coverage.

Employer groups have long complained that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirement, which will not go into effect until regulations are issued, would cause significant administrative complications.

With automatic enrollment, experts say employers would face the administrative burden of disenrolling employees after finding out that they already had coverage elsewhere, such as their spouse's employer.

The measure now will move to the House Budget Committee for inclusion in a future budget reconciliation bill.

Earlier this week, the House Ways and Means Committee approved a measure that would repeal several other health reform law provisions, including the 40% excise tax on costly plans and the employer and individual coverage mandates. That bill, too, is slated to be added to the budget reconciliation measure.

“We have an opportunity to dismantle a law that's wreaking havoc on families and small businesses, while also taking an important step to help get our fiscal house in order and protect hard-working taxpayers,” Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., said in a statement.