The National Republican Congressional Committee is accusing Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of flip-flopping by voting against a doomed attempt by House Republicans to delay for one year the so-called individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, which has already taken effect.
The measure passed the House, 250 to 160, in a mostly party line vote on Wednesday. Only one Republican opposed the bill, which would lift until 2015 the tax penalties imposed on uninsured Americans who refuse to enroll in a health plan. Maloney, D-Cold Spring, was one of 159 Democrats who voted “no”; 27 others sided with 223 Republicans in support.
The NRCC called Maloney’s vote a flip-flop because he voted twice last year to delay the individual mandate for a year.
“This is important for many reason, but not the least of which is that Maloney is actually moving in the WRONG direction on this issue,” NRCC spokesman Ian Prior said in a press release, going on to accuse Maloney of throwing New Yorkers “under the Obamacare bus.”
Democrats say that delaying the mandate after 4 million Americans already have enrolled in health care exchanges would drive up premiums by removing the motivation for others to sign up and shrinking the expected pool of enrollees. In New York, almost 560,000 people have enrolled.
In an emailed response, Maloney spokeswoman Stephanie Formas said, “Tea Party Republicans in Congress are so obsessed with repealing the law that they are willing to take away people’s healthcare coverage and drive up healthcare costs and premiums by changing the rules on the thousands of folks throughout the Hudson Valley who have already signed up. Rep. Maloney believes it is time to stop the endless fighting over the Affordable Care Act and focus on fixing what’s broken, like removing unnecessary bureaucracy, increasing tax credits for small businesses, and preserving Medicare Advantage.”