If he were an employer, John Boehner would be sitting on his hands — and wallet — waiting for the picture to clear about the Affordable Care Act, said the speaker of the House Wednesday while speaking at a policy forum in Washington.

Boehner (R-Ohio) said that health care reform is a major issue facing employers, many of whom are changing their makeup in such a way that employees are forced to get a second part-time job. This is after employers cut their hours due to ACA requirements to provide health care to employees who work at least 30 hours a week.

“There are lots of questions about [the] employer response and no answers coming from the administration,” because many of the rules still haven’t been written, Boehner said at the forum, which was sponsored by the law firm BakerHostetler and primarily focused on tax issues.

Also at the conference, Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisc.) said that while many members of Congress are talking repeal of the Affordable Care Act, that should not be the focus now. Rather, talk should center on the changes that need to take place. 

Kind said that his fellow members of Congress should recognize the ACA is the law of the land and “it would benefit us as a nation to work on necessary fixes. ... [Congress] should focus on what’s working rather than the constant old debate of ‘repeal it all.’”

Noting that rising health care costs are a serious problem, Kind said that time is not on our side, as the main part of the ACA goes into effect in a few months. He said the Act, “albeit not a perfect bill,” gave us a start to change how the health care system is delivered but ultimately will achieve the “golden grail” of changing the financial incentives within the health care system.

However, speaking later at the policy forum Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) said that he believes “the new health care law will dilute the quality of care and decrease financial incentives. … In general, government mandates I don’t believe help increase quality or decrease cost.”

Further, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate, said that the United States needs to come up with a health care system that “actually” works and not a “government price control system.”

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