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Roe to spend much of recess talking about Obamacare, rival GOP plan

Hank Hayes • Aug 3, 2013 at 2:01 AM

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe acknowledges Republican talk of defunding the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — probably won’t result in firm action.

“There’s a lot of it you can’t defund. ... It’s going to go on regardless of what we do,” Roe (R-Tenn.) said of the health-care coverage reform plan in a conference call with reporters.

Roe said he will spend much of the August congressional recess and district work period talking about Obamacare and an alternative House GOP national health insurance plan.

Oct. 1 marks the start of online enrollment for federal and state health care exchanges for those not covered by company health insurance plans, Medicare or Medicaid.

Obamacare seeks to have all Americans covered by health insurance beginning Jan. 1, 2014, although the Obama administration recently announced it will delay implementation of just one component of the 2010 health care law — the mandate for employers to offer health insurance to workers — until 2015.

Still, Roe said House Republicans might attempt to delay Obamacare when debate on a continuing budget resolution and debt ceiling increase begins this fall.

Senate Republicans continue to urge the Obama administration to “permanently delay” implementation of the health care law.

In a letter to the administration, the Republican senators said to the president: “While your action (to delay the employer mandate) finally acknowledges some of the many burdens this law will place on job creators, we believe the rest of this law should be permanently delayed for everyone in order to avoid significant economic harm to American families.”

As for the House GOP alternate health care plan, Roe promised it would expand the number of people covered, include no mandates or increased taxes, and equalize tax treatment between a company and individual.

While Obamacare’s final implementation continues to be fought, state Republicans were occupied in recent days by Obama’s Chattanooga stop to tout his jobs plan.

Obama promised to simplify the corporate tax code, end incentives to ship jobs overseas, and lower the tax rate for businesses creating jobs “right here” in America.

Tennessee Republicans used the stop to remind people how unpopular Obama is in the state.

“I think it’s always good when the president comes to your state,” Roe said of Obama’s visit. “It doesn’t happen very often to Tennessee ... (but unsuccessful GOP presidential challenger) Mitt Romney got 73 percent of the vote in the 1st Congressional District. It’s not one of (Obama’s) strongest areas but yes, it’s a good thing when the president comes. I know he’s not real popular in Tennessee, and he lost by 20 points or so, but he’s the president of all states.”

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