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The Hill: GOP-led committee releases guides for implementing health law

Washington, December 6, 2012 -

The Hill: GOP-led committee releases guides for implementing health law
By Elise Viebeck

The House Small Business Committee is releasing documents to help businesspeople comply with President Obama's healthcare law.

The panel's Republican leader, Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), said his team is dedicated to helping small businesses meet requirements that will take effect in 2013 and 2014.

"The healthcare law has been a drain on private sector job creation, but our committee will strive to help America’s small businesses overcome their compliance difficulties," Graves said in a statement.

"I want to help [businesses] be successful, no matter what the national regulatory climate is. With this report, we are trying to give them some tools to plan ahead," Graves said.

The move reflects some Republicans' grudging acceptance of the health law since Obama's reelection, which all but ensured its survival.

But gestures like this one have not always been welcomed on the right, where "ObamaCare" remains an outrage.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) suggested Nov. 8 in an interview that the House GOP would no longer push to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because "the president was reelected" and "ObamaCare is the law of the land."

Shortly after the interview broke, he reaffirmed his commitment to abolishing healthcare reform on Twitter, saying "ObamaCare is law of the land, but it is raising costs & threatening jobs. Our goal has been, and will remain, full repeal."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has also said that the healthcare law should be on the table during talks over the so-called fiscal cliff.

On Thursday, the Small Business Committee released lists of the Affordable Care Act provisions  that will take effect in the coming two years.

The guides describe each provision in plain English and list its "consequences for small businesses" in the panel's view.

The 2014 list predicts, for example, that offering the essential health benefits required by the law "may increase the cost of insurance that small businesses must offer."