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Health law requirement delayed

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WASHINGTON — In a major concession to business groups, the Obama administration Tuesday unexpectedly announced a one-year delay, until 2015, in a central requirement of the new health care law that medium and large companies provide coverage for their workers or face fines.

“We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively,” Treasury Assistant Secretary Mark Mazur said in a blog post. “We have listened to your feedback and we are taking action.”

Under the law, companies with 50 or more workers must provide affordable coverage to their full-time employees or risk a series of escalating tax penalties if just one worker ends up getting government-subsidized insurance. Business groups have complained since the law passed that the provision was too complicated.

The unexpected decision is sure to anger liberals and labor groups, but it could provide cover for Democratic candidates in next year’s congressional elections.

While the White House sacrificed timely implementation of a key element of President Obama’s health care law, the move also undercuts Republican efforts to make the overhaul and the costs associated with new requirements a major issue in congressional races. Democrats are defending 21 Senate seats to the Republicans’ 14, and the GOP had already started to excoriate Senate Democrats who had voted for the health law in 2009.

Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarret cast the decision as part of an effort to simplify data reporting requirements.

She said since enforcing the coverage mandate is dependent on businesses reporting about their workers’ access to insurance, the administration decided to postpone the reporting requirement, and with it, the mandate to provide coverage.

We have and will continue to make changes as needed,” Jarrett wrote in a White House blog post. “In our ongoing discussions with businesses we have heard that you need the time to get this right. We are listening.”

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b1 07/03/13 - 08:49 am
What a joke

This is all because 2014 just happens to run into an election year!! He really thinks we are idiots...oh wait... half this country is!

chascushman 07/03/13 - 09:33 pm
' He really thinks we are

' He really thinks we are idiots...oh wait... half this country is!'
well said

bentman 07/03/13 - 10:40 pm
Please say it's not so! This

Please say it's not so! This panacea promised to cure all the ills of the healthcare system has been delayed? It's not FAIR.

dichotomy 07/04/13 - 08:47 pm
Obama and the Democrats train

Obama and the Democrats train wreck has already been that it will cost us TWICE what was projected. Many people who have private health insurance are already paying DOUBLE what they were paying prior to the passing of Obamacare....and it's STILL GOING UP. The CBO just reported that we will have as many people without health insurance, 30 million, under Obamacare. That is as many as we had before Obamacare. So...lets recap.....we have DOUBLED the cost to the taxpayer.......we have DOUBLED the cost of private insurance......and we will have JUST AS MANY PEOPLE WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE. Not to mention all of the businesses that are cutting people's work hours back to UNDER 30, not hiring or expanding so they can stay UNDER 50 employees, and saying they will drop their employer provided insurance programs.

SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME WHY WE DID THIS AND WHY WE ARE STILL GOING THROUGH WITH IT. This is the most ignorant legislation ever passed by a House and Senate and signed into law by any president.

And now the ignorant people who passed this goat rope want to delay it's full implementation until after the 2014 elections. Wonder why? They really don't have to worry. Their supporters are already too dumb to understand what is happening before their very eyes.

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