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Area lawmakers pan delay of employer mandate

Three Indiana Republicans were of no mind to praise President Barack Obama for delaying a major component of the health care law they detest.

Instead, U.S. Reps. Marlin Stutzman, Luke Messer and Jackie Walorski claimed the one-year postponement of a mandate for large employers to insure full-time workers is further proof that the Affordable Care Act is bad legislation.

“The American people don’t need a delay for the president’s PR machine to buy more time. We must fully repeal ObamaCare and work on real solutions that put patients, not bureaucrats, first,” Stutzman, R-3rd, said in a statement.

Messer, R-6th, said in a statement that the Obama administration’s decision “will postpone the damage, but the devastating impact to our economy cannot be stopped without full repeal.” And he said the delay of the employer insurance mandate until 2015 provides Republicans with an extra year to try to overturn the law.

Walorski, R-2nd, said in a statement, “It is time for the president and Senate to join the House and listen to the American people to repeal this train-wreck legislation.”

Sens. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced June 18 that they would send Obama a letter urging him to give employers a compliance transition period next year “free from the threat of penalty.”

The senators also filed legislation that would change the Affordable Care Act’s definition of full-time employment from 30 hours of weekly work to 40 hours.

“A year of transition allows us to work on improving the law to make it work better, such as the proposal Senator Collins and I introduced to redefine ‘full time’ as 40 hours a week,” Donnelly said in a statement.

A month ago, Fort Wayne Community Schools cut the hours of 610 part-time teaching aides and cafeteria workers from 30 hours a week to 25 to avoid having to provide them with health insurance beginning Jan. 1.