Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) have proposed legislation that would let people opt out of the Obamacare requirement to buy health insurance.
“The American people should have the choice to purchase health coverage without fear of their government extracting onerous penalties,” McCain said. “A better, more affordable American health care system must be based around the fundamental value of freedom, and this bill takes a key step in that direction.”
Barrasso aded that Obamacare is already increasing various penalties on Americans, who shouldn’t be subjected to a fine for not buying a health plan they don’t want.
“Our bill will give Americans a way out from Washington’s one-size-fits-all healthcare mandate,” he said. “American families should be able to make their own decisions about what is best for their families.”
Under their bill, people would have the option of asking the Secretary of the Treasury for an exemption from the individual mandate under the law, “which such such secretary shall grant upon request.”
Alternatively, people could indicate on their federal income tax return that they elect to be exempted from the mandate.
Around eight million people enrolled in a health insurance plan under Obamacare during the first enrollment year, and the Obama administration has said it has been working to improve the enrollment process in the next enrollment year.
While the law requires people to buy insurance or face penalties, the Obama administration has said it would not impose fines on people until after 2016. That move was interpreted as an attempt to ease the possibility of penalties before the 2016 presidential election.
But the administration’s selective enforcement of the law has also drawn Republican anger, who say Obama should be working with Congress to make these changes, instead of imposing them unilaterally.
On Wednesday, the House voted 225-201 to authorize civil legal action against Obama over his enforcement of the law.