Administration blasts PPACA delay critics

(AP photo/Colin Winterbottom) (AP photo/Colin Winterbottom)

White House officials are firing back at GOP attacks on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act implementation.

Josh Earnest, the principal deputy press secretary, mocked the Republican criticism of PPACA progress implementation Wednesday at a press briefing in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Earnest spent most of the briefing talking about the turmoil in Egypt but spent a few minutes on PPACA, according to a transcript posted on the White House website.

Reporters asked about press reports that health plans can put off complying with the $6,300 PPACA cap on out-of-pocket spending maximums until 2015. Earnest said plans can set separate $6,300 limits for health plans and for drug plans, but still have to set the limits for each plan at or below $6,300.

"On Jan. 1, 2014, for the first time, every single American will have access to a health care plan that will limit their out-of-pocket medical expenses," Earnest said. "That is something that has never been in place before."

A reporter asked about Republican charges that the delay in plans having to have a single out-of-pocket spending limit, and among others, show that, "essentially, this health care law is just not ready for prime time. That the president has simply over-promised and now can't deliver."

Earnest said the Republicans making those charges are the same Republicans who have voted to defund PPACA 40 times.

"The same Republicans who are threatening to shut down the government if Obamacare is not defunded," Earnest said. "The point is, it's a little hard to take their criticism seriously considering their opposition to the law in the first place."

Earnest compared the Republicans' complaints about PPACA to Alex Rodriguez complaining that the Major League Baseball drug testing program is not strict enough.

"It's difficult to take them seriously," Earnestly said.

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