Another major delay for the Obamacare “train wreck” is announced, as businesses get a reprieve, but what about individuals? (h/t Drudge Report on some of the stories)
From The UK Daily Mail:
Obamacare employer mandate delayed until 2015 to give Democrats breathing room until after 2014 midterm elections, says Treasury source
A Treasury Department official who declined to be named confirmed to MailOnline on Tuesday that the Obama administration will not begin enforcing employer mandates in the Obamacare law until 2015 – one year later than originally planned – and pinned that change of direction on a combination of politics and economic realities in the marketplace.
Mark Mazur, the Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy, announced on the agency’s blog that the administration ‘will provide an additional year before the … mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2354135/Treasury-Department-source-Obamacare-employer-mandate-wait-2015-Democrats-breathing-room-2014-midterm-elections.html#ixzz2XzVbkt7P
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The Daily Caller on the “train wreck:”
“This announcement means even the Obama administration knows the ‘train wreck’ will only get worse,” Speaker of the House John Boehner said in a statement Tuesday evening, quoting Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, one of the architects of the law, who expressed concern about a “train wreck coming down” if more work was not done to educate the public on implementation of the law.
From the Washington Post:
The Affordable Care Act requires all employers with more than 50 full-time workers provide health insurance or pay steep fines. That policy had raised concerns about companies downsizing their workforce or cutting workers’ hours in order to dodge the new mandate.
In delaying the enforcement of that rule, the White House sidesteps those challenges for one year. It is also the second significant interruption for the Affordable Care Act, following a one-year delay on key functions of the small business insurance marketplaces.
Zeke Miller has this for Time:
Republican former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin called the move “deviously brilliant,” by removing a potential electoral impediment from in front of congressional Democrats before the midterms.
“Democrats no longer face the immediate specter of running against the fallout from a heavy regulatory imposition on employers across the land,” Holtz-Eakin wrote. “Explaining away the mandate was going to be a big political lift; having the White House airbrush it from the landscape is way better.”
From The Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell: So Which Part of Obamacare Works, Then?
Obamacare is so helpful, so ready for action, so vital to the nation’s health, that… the Obama Administration is delaying another major part of it.
When Obamacare was engineered, the Administration and its allies in Congress made sure that the major parts affecting all Americans would be delayed until after the 2012 presidential election. Now, however, the Obama Administration is delaying one of the most well-known elements of Obamacare until after the 2014 midterm congressional election.
Don’t forget that the individual mandate still kicks in on January 1, 2014. All Americans will have to buy government-approved health insurance or pay a fine. And the employer mandate won’t be there to force employers to provide it.
White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said the administration remained “full steam ahead” for the implementation of health insurance marketplaces, despite the announcement of a delay in a mandate requiring businesses to provide workers with health insurance.
“We are full steam ahead for the Marketplaces opening on October 1,” Jarrett said in a blog post explaining the move on the White House website.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/309041-jarrett-full-steam-ahead-for-obamacare-marketplaces-despite-business-delay#ixzz2XzSQDjh7
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From Politico’s “Playbook:”
MORE – POLITICO’S Brett Norman and Jennifer Haberkorn says the announcement “comes in the shadow of a mounting pile of criticisms of the employer mandate. There’s been a push by some business groups and lawmakers so that only people working 40 or more hours a week would be covered. The health law currently says 30 hours is full time, and some businesses and more recently, school districts, have complained that they would have to cut their employees hours to escape the mandate penalties.
“The move is also likely to raise the prices tag of Obamacare by making more people eligible for subsidies, namely those whom employers would have covered under the threat of penalties under the law. Employers with 50 or more “full-time equivalent” employees were required under law to provide affordable insurance or else pay $2,000 per year penalty per employee.” http://politi.co/14p2FFn
ESSENTIAL PRO READING – ‘6 questions about the Obamacare mandate” – “Does this derail Obamacare? It doesn’t derail it. But it hurts … Will more health law dominos fall? … The White House put up a blog post stressing that the main elements of the law will be ready to go in October. And allies said the move Tuesday put a piece of the law – but not the core of it – on hold … Why did Treasury have to do this? … Who will be hurt by the delay? Conservative health analysts predicted employers would drop coverage and dump employees into the taxpayer-subsidized exchanges … More liberal health experts predicted that big business would stick to the status quo … Who’s pleased about the mandate delay? Businesses who don’t have to worry about the rules for another year and Republicans who got more chances to say that Obamacare isn’t ready for prime time … Is there a silver lining for the White House?” … Click: http://bit.ly/12d9JAC