House Republican leaders on Tuesday seized on the Obama administration’s one-year delay of a mandate for larger employers to offer health insurance or face penalties, demanding the same postponement for the mandate on individual insurance purchases and promising a series of showdowns aimed at dividing Democrats from the White House.
After more than two years of voting repeatedly and unsuccessfully to repeal the health care law, Republicans believe they are getting traction thanks to what they see as the Obama administration’s self-inflicted wound over the employer mandate.
House leaders began devising strategies that would most likely start this month with multiple votes, the first to codify the one-year delay on the employer mandate, then another to demand a delay on the individual mandate. They calculate that Democrats would first vote to back the administration’s decision, and would then have a hard time opposing the second measure. Some Republicans raised the possibility that a provision to repeal the individual mandate could be attached this fall to legislation raising the government’s statutory borrowing limit.