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President Barack Obama, as expected, Friday vetoed budget legislation that was given final congressional approval earlier this week and would repeal key provisions of the health care reform law.
“This legislation would cost millions of hard-working middle-class families the security of affordable health coverage they deserve. Reliable health care coverage would no longer be a right for everyone: It would return to being a privilege for a few,” President Obama said in his veto statement.
The measure, H.R. 3762, would repeal provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Cared Care Act that impose penalties on employers that do not offer coverage to at least 95% of their full-time employees.
Employers this year also face a penalty, which is $3,240 per affected employee, if they offer coverage that exceeds 9.5% of the employee's household income and the worker uses a federal premium subsidy to obtain coverage in a public exchange.
The measure also includes a provision that would repeal the 40% excise tax on the portion of group health care premiums that exceed $10,200 for single coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. President Obama previously signed separate legislation that delayed imposition of so-called Cadillac tax until 2020.
Republican congressional leaders are expected to try to override the veto, but it is widely recognized that they lack the necessary two-thirds majority to do so. The budget legislation with the ACA repeal provisions was approved by the House of Representatives this week on a 240-181 vote, while the Senate earlier approved the bill on a 52-47 vote.
More than 11.2 million individuals so far have signed up for health insurance plans through the federal and state exchanges during the 2016 open enrollment season, with enrollment far ahead of last year's pace, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported Thursday.