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Boehner: Obamacare is a 'wet blanket over our economy'

Meanwhile, an Obama administration official apologized to the American public for Obamacare's glitch-filled website at a congressional hearing.
US House Republican leadership holds a news conference
US House Speaker Republican John Boehner (R) listens to House Majority Leader Republican Eric Cantor (L) at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on October 23, 2013.

House Speaker John Boehner conceded last year that Obamacare is the “law of the land,” but that doesn’t mean he likes it.

The Ohio Republican declared on Tuesday that the president’s Affordable Care Act—which has suffered a rocky rollout of the site—was a “wet blanket over our economy,” insisting it’s slowed economic growth and prevented small businesses from hiring.

Appearing at a news conference, Boehner pointed to a business in his district with 46 employees that’s “scared” to hire anyone else, fearful that their healthcare plan will be subject to more government regulation if it hits the 50-employee mark, at which point small businesses must offer health insurance to all employees or pay a fine.

“With all this uncertainty around this law, employers are having a very difficult time making decisions. It’s time to delay this. It’s time to fix this before it gets any worse,” said Boehner.

For years, Boehner and his GOP colleagues have clamorously called for the repeal and replacement then the defunding and delay of Obamacare. But time and time again, those efforts have failed. Experts say the government shutdown, in which GOPers unsuccessfully tried to tie any spending deal to delaying Obamacare and almost pushed the country into default, cost the economy $24 billion. 

White House officials have said the website for Americans to buy insurance under Obama’s healthcare law will be fixed by the end of November.

Marilyn Tavenner, head of  the government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services --which is overseeing the implantation of Obama’s healthcare law --apologized to the American public at a congressional hearing on Tuesday morning.

“I want to apologize to you that the website is not working as well as it should,” Tavenner said, insisting the site will be fixed and “we are working around the clock to give you the experience that you deserve.”

Meanwhile, NBC reported earlier this week that millions of Americans will have their existing health insurance canceled in the next few weeks, something the Obama Administration has known about. The White House officials swiftly rejected the report. Boehner referenced the findings in a tweet just minutes before his remarks.

“Obama said I could keep my doctor,” he wrote.