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Another Day, Another ObamaCare Delay

- February 11, 2014

Obama’s Latest Attempt To Avert Midterm Mayhem

In An Attempt “To Limit Election-Year Damage,” The Obama Administration Delayed ObamaCare’s Employer Mandate For The Second Time.  Trying to limit election-year damage on health care, the Obama administration Monday granted business groups another delay in a much-criticized requirement that larger firms cover their workers or face fines.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Another Delay In Health Law’s Employer Requirement,” The Associated Press, 2/10/14)

The Obama Administration Delayed ObamaCare’s Employer Mandate For “Medium-Sized Employers An Extra Year.” “The Obama administration announced Monday it would give medium-sized employers an extra year, until 2016, before they must offer health insurance to their full-time workers.” (Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein, “White House Delays Health Insurance Mandate For Medium-Sized Employers Until 2016,” The Washington Post, 2/10/14)

  • With The Obama Administration’s Most Recent Delay, Large Employers Received “A Significant Concession: They Can Avoid A Fine By Offering Coverage To 70 Percent Of Their Full-Time Employees In 2015 And 95 Percent Starting In 2016.” “Even the nation’s largest employers got a significant concession: They can avoid a fine by offering coverage to 70 percent of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95 percent starting in 2016. Under an earlier proposal, employers with at least 50 employees would have been required to offer insurance, beginning 2015, to 95 percent of those who work 30 hours or more a week, along with their dependents.” (Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein, “White House Delays Health Insurance Mandate For Medium-Sized Employers Until 2016,” The Washington Post, 2/10/14)

ObamaCare’s Employer Mandate Was Originally Set To Take Effect This Year But The Obama Administration Announced A One-Year Delay In July 2013. “Initially, these requirements — which affect firms employing 72 percent of all Americans — were supposed to take effect this year, at the same time that most individuals faced a new obligation to obtain health insurance or risk a tax penalty. Last July, the administration announced it would delay the regulation for a year after many employers and some unions complained about the law’s reporting requirements and classification system for workers.” (Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein, “White House Delays Health Insurance Mandate For Medium-Sized Employers Until 2016,” The Washington Post, 2/10/14)

As Businesses Receive Another ObamaCare Delay, Americans Are Still Subjected To ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate Penalty Tax

“Most Americans Still Have To Get Health Coverage This Year Or Pay A Fine.” “Most Americans still have to get health coverage this year or pay a fine, a fact that’s been a source of political headaches as people struggled to sign up for coverage during the early website glitches. The federal enrollment website is working better now, but many Americans will still have to decide whether it’s cheaper to sign up for coverage or pay the fine.” (Brett Norman and David Nather, “Obama Administration Delays Part Of Employer Mandate Again,” Politico, 2/10/14)

  • ObamaCare Individual Mandate Will Fine Americans “$95 Or 1 Percent Of The Person’s Income” While Growing “Significantly Larger” In The Following Years. “The fines for individuals are relatively small this year — $95 or 1 percent of the person’s income, whichever is greater — but they’ll still have strong symbolic importance. They’ll grow significantly larger in 2016.” (Brett Norman and David Nather, “Obama Administration Delays Part Of Employer Mandate Again,” Politico, 2/10/14)

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S DELAY REEKS OF POLITICS AT ITS WORST

The Delay Marks Another Instance Of The Obama Administration Trying “To Defuse Another Potential Controversy” Ahead Of The 2014 Midterm Elections. “By offering an unexpected grace period to businesses with between 50 and 99 employees, administration officials are hoping to defuse another potential controversy involving the 2010 health-care law, which has become central to Republicans’ campaign to make political gains in this year’s midterm election.” (Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein, “White House Delays Health Insurance Mandate For Medium-Sized Employers Until 2016,” The Washington Post, 2/10/14)

The Obama Administration’s Most Recent Delay Follows Efforts By The Administration To Blunt ObamaCare’s “Full Impact This Year.” “In recent months the administration has made a series of changes to the law that have further blunted its full impact this year. It has asked insurers to temporarily reinstate policies that had been canceled because they didn't meet new requirements set by the law, even though the administration had previously described those plans as inadequate.” (Louise Radnofsky, “Obama Delays Health-Insurance Mandate For Some Firms,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/10/14)

CNN’s Brianna Keilar: ObamaCare’s Latest Delay “Certainly” Driven By Political Considerations. JAKE TAPPER:  “Brianna, I’m sure the cynics out there will point out at this delays the mandate until after the midterm elections. Do we have any idea whether employers were pressuring the white house for this or there were political considerations as well?” BRIANNA KEILAR: “Well, there certainly were political considerations. There were a lot of businesses who were saying that this was a requirement that is tough for them. It’s kind of a double edged sword, though I think, for the White House because on one hand this allows them to put off this requirement beyond this pivotal midterm election. President Obama, one of his major political goals right now is to ensure that Democrats retain control of the Senate. So this kind of takes out some of the gunpowder there, I think, the Republicans would have. But it’s also, Jake, another admission of the problems with the law. There have been a number of changes, delays, fumbles and this is yet another one of those.” (CNN’s “The Lead,” 2/10/14)

Past Is Prologue: The First Delay Of The Employer Mandate Was “Embarrassing,” And Showed That ObamaCare Wasn’t “Ready For Primetime”

The Delay By The White House Is “A Tacit Acknowledgement That The Law Isn’t Ready For Primetime.” “The White House’s announcement Tuesday that it is postponing a key part of the law until 2015 — a tacit acknowledgement that the law isn’t quite ready for prime time — throws that latest tack into doubt.” (Alex Isenstadt, “The Politics Of The ObamaCare Delay,” Politico, 7/3/13)

  • ABC's Rick Klein: “The Pre-Holiday Announcement Undercuts Cavalier Assurances That The Law Is Ready To Be Implemented … An Admission That Its Signature Legislative Accomplishment Isn’t Ready For Prime Time.”  KLEIN: “Who would have guessed that the most damaging blow to the Obama health care law would come from inside the Obama administration? The pre-holiday announcement undercuts cavalier assurances that the law is ready to be implemented; one announcement that three years haven't been enough to get a piece of it done within another six months takes care of that. Yes, this is listening to business concerns, and yes, it conveniently means any electoral fallout from an implemented law will be delayed for another president to deal with. But this is a blow in every conceivable way to the Obama administration - an admission that its signature legislative accomplishment isn't ready for prime time, just as the law's critics have been arguing, and arguing.” (“ABC News’ ‘The Note,’” ABC News, 7/3/13)

“The Decision Is Embarrassing For The Administration …” “But the decision is embarrassing for the administration, given that the law passed more than three years ago.” (Steven T. Dennis, “Obama Delays Employer Mandate In Big Win For Business,” Roll Call, 7/2/13)

CBS’s John Dickerson: “This Is Not Good. It Sort Of Contributes To The Feeling That The Affordable Care Act Is A Jalopy They’re Trying To Roll Out Of The Driveway Here, At Barely Operational For The President.” “DICKERSON: As a political matter, this is not good. It sort of contributes to the feeling that the affordable care act is a jalopy they're trying to roll out of the driveway here, at barely operational for the president. So that's not good. The White House made the decision though, take the pain now before the July 4th weekend rather than have the stories over the next year where companies are laying off workers or having such a hard time implementing this.” (CBS’s “This Morning,” 7/3/13)

ABC’s Rick Klein: “Any Assurance That You Had Before About How Smooth The Transition’s Gonna Be, That Is Now Under Serious Question Tonight.” KLEIN: “This is a huge priority for the Obama Administration and they have said -- ‘We’ve got this one, we know that there are people out there that are wondering whether this law is unmanageable, whether it’s unworkable, don’t worry about it. Now they have said wait a second, even though we have had three plus years to work on this, another six months won’t be enough. We need another 18 months to make this become a reality.’ So any assurance you had before about how smooth the transition’s gonna be, that is now under serious question tonight.” (Fox News’ “On The Record,” 7/2/13)

The Mandate’s Delay “Takes A Controversial Component Of The Law Off The Table Before The Midterm Elections.” “The so-called employer mandate, which penalizes employers with more than 50 employees if they fail to provide a minimum standard of affordable health insurance, was set to kick-in in 2014, but now will take effect in 2015 the Treasury Department announced in a blog post first reported by Bloomberg News. The delay not only allows the administration time to alleviate concerns among business owners, but also takes a controversial component of the law off the table before the midterm elections.” (Zeke J Miller, “Obama Administration Delays Healthcare Law Employer Penalty Until 2015,” Time, 7/2/13)

The New York Times’ John Harwood: “The Administration, In Part I Think, Hopes To Get Some Benefit From Delaying These Penalties Until After The 2014 Elections.” HARWOOD: “One other point that we need to make on this is the political point. And that is that the Administration, in part I think, hopes to get some benefit from delaying these penalties until after the 2014 elections. They've been getting a lot of incoming from Republicans.” (CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report,” 7/2/13)

Time’s Mark Halperin: “The Politics Of It Are Huge. People Are Looking At The Fact That It Extends Beyond The Mid-Terms. Some People Are Saying They’re Trying To Avoid The Political Fallout.” HALPERIN: “The politics of it are huge. People are looking at the fact that it extends beyond the mid-terms. Some people are saying they're trying to avoid the political fallout in the fight for Congress next year. But there's also the question, and this is what opponents are saying is, ‘if this thing is a good idea, the plan is a good idea, why are we delaying it?’” (MSNBC’s “Way Too Early,” 7/3/13)


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