The Obama administration has delayed the employer mandate under Obamacare until 2015, citing complaints from businesses about the complexity of some of the law’s requirements. Funny what happens when you read the bill to find out what’s in it.
The Obama administration is postponing the federal health care law’s insurance mandate for employers next year, in a major concession to the business community and lawmakers who have become increasingly vocal about the law’s potential to damage a slowly recovering economy.
The announcement doesn’t affect the main coverage tools in the law — the individual mandate and the new subsidized insurance markets.
But the delay, revealed just as the administration was stepping up efforts to educate the public about enrollment this fall, is at least partial proof of what Republicans have been predicting for months: that the health law is way too complex to be ready to go live in 2014.
I think some have been warning about this train wreck for some time.
— Former Rep. Kenny Marchant (@RepKenMarchant) April 17, 2013
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) June 11, 2013
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) May 14, 2013
— John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) June 3, 2013
— Michele Bachmann (@MicheleBachmann) May 24, 2013
But as some smaller employers have already begun cutting back hours of employees and laying off others in an attempt to reduce the impact of the law’s requirements, many will lose their existing coverage they may have had as full time employees. Since the individual mandate is not being delayed, does this mean these employees will still be required to purchase insurance on their own or pay a fine?
As Forbes points out, the delay could also potentially contribute to the unraveling of the existing employer sponsored insurance market.
Even if the Obama administration’s delay lasts for only one year, that delay will give firms time to restructure their businesses to avoid offering costly coverage, leading to an expansion of the individual insurance market and a shrinkage of the employer-sponsored market. Remember that the administration is not delaying the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to buy health coverage or face a fine.
But delaying the employer mandate could lead, ultimately, to its repeal, which would do much to transition our insurance market from an employer-sponsored one to an individually-purchased one. Indeed, earlier this year, a bill to do just that was introduced by Rep. Charles Boustany (R., La.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah). If the employer mandate were to ultimately be repealed, or never implemented, today’s news may turn out to be one of the most significant developments in health care policy in recent memory.
Perhaps Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s spokesman has it right – what about the rest of us?
Dear Obama administration: Businesses aren't the only ones raising "concerns about the complexity" of #Obamacare. What about the rest of us?
— STEW ??? ⚾️ ? (@StewSays) July 2, 2013
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