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The House of Representatives, on a near party-line vote, approved legislation Friday that would repeal key parts of the health care reform law, including the employer and individual mandates.
The repeal provisions are embedded in a broader budget reconciliation bill, H.R. 3762, that lawmakers cleared on a 240-189 vote.
Aside from repealing the employer and individual mandates, the measure also includes repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's excise tax on costly health care plans and a tax on manufacturers of medical devices.
Under the ACA employer mandate, employers with 100 or more employees are liable this year for a $2,000-per-employee penalty if they do not offer coverage to at least 70% of their full-time employees. Next year and in succeeding years, the penalty will apply to employers with at least 50 employees, who — to avoid the penalty — will have to extend coverage to at least 95% of employees.
Under the individual mandate, employees not enrolled in a health care plan are liable in 2015 for a penalty of $325 or 2% of income, whichever is greater.
In addition, under the ACA excise tax provision that the measure would repeal, a 40% tax will be imposed, starting in 2018, on the portion of group health care plan premiums that exceed $10,200 for single coverage and $27,500 for family coverage.
The future of the bill, which now goes to the Senate, is in doubt.
Earlier this week, the White House said President Barack Obama would veto the bill if it is approved by lawmakers.
“Repealing key elements of the Affordable Care Act would result in millions of individuals remaining uninsured or losing the insurance they have today,” the White House said in a statement.
At the moment, Republicans lack enough votes to override a veto, which requires approval by two-thirds of members.
Fueled by employer and labor union lobbying, Congressional support to repeal the health care reform law's highly unpopular 40% excise tax has grown rapidly in recent weeks, but the push faces several obstacles.