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Obamacare 50+ Business Mandate “Delayed”

Obamacare implementation hits a snag.

Obamacare implementation hits a snag.

WHEN IT came down to it, the Obama administration ran smack into corporations hovering around 50+ employees who were threatening to cut workers or their hours in order to get past the Obamacare mandate. Call it what you want, but the Obama administration didn’t just blink, they’re acquiescing to real business beefs.

From Ezra Klein, who thinks the business mandate should not just be delayed, but should be repealed.

The Affordable Care Act includes a provision penalizing employers with more than 50 full-time workers who either don’t offer health insurance or whose employees who can’t afford insurance without taxpayer help. Those penalties begin in 2014. At least, that’s what the law says.

It’s a bad bit of policy. In fact, when it first emerged during the Senate’s negotiations, I called it “one of the worst ideas in recent memory.”

What Klein wrote later in that piece is disturbing: This is a regulatory end-run of the legislative process.

The reality is that it doesn’t affect that many people or employers. Most companies already provide health insurance top their employees. Former White House health policy adviser Ezekiel Emanuel estimates that number at around 94%.

The politics and PR of it, however, provide a target rich environment for Republicans, who are taking full advantage of this moment. They’re doing so by making sure they don’t offer facts, but instead rev up their voters in preparation for 2014, which is one of the reasons the Obama administration decided to wait until after the midterms.

Valerie Jarrett explains the Obama administration’s rationale in a blog post (emphasis original).

Second, we are giving businesses more time to comply. As we make these changes, we believe we need to give employers more time to comply with the new rules. Since employer responsibility payments can only be assessed based on this new reporting, payments won’t be collected for 2014. This allows employers the time to test the new reporting systems and make any necessary adaptations to their health benefits while staying the course toward making health coverage more affordable and accessible for their workers.

Just like our effort to turn the 21 page application for health insurance into a 3 page application, we are working hard to adapt and to be flexible in employer and insurer reporting as we implement the law.

Meanwhile, here is a quick review of what small and big businesses need to know about the health law and how it will work:

  • If you are a small business with less than 50 workers, the law’s employer shared responsibility policies does not apply to you. Instead, you will gain access to the Small Business Health Options Program that gives you the purchasing power of large businesses. In fact, you may be eligible for a tax credit that covers up to half the cost of insurance if you offer quality coverage to your employees
  • If you own a business with more than 50 workers that already offers full-time workers affordable, quality coverage, you are fine – we’ll work with you to keep that coverage affordable.
  • And if you are a company with more than 50 employees but choose not to offer quality affordable coverage, we have provided as much flexibility and transition time as possible for you to move to providing affordable, quality coverage to your workers.

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20 Responses to Obamacare 50+ Business Mandate “Delayed”

  1. fangio July 3, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Welcome to corpo – government and a lazy, cowardly president running scared. He’s a real tough guy when tracking down leakers who let the world know what he’s doing behind their backs , but when it comes to fighting for the people who elected him, not worth it.

  2. Joyce Arnold July 3, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    The power of “corporations are people” and “the next election,” and the one after that, and the one after that …

    It was never going to happen, but with all the fairly predictable problems with / attacks on / criticisms of / political games with ObamaCare, it would have been kind of cool if we could at least been focused on a true “health care for all” effort.

  3. Beth in suburban Chicago July 3, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    But the INDIVIDUAL mandate is not delayed. So where are people supposed to go get health care if their employers don’t offer it? The exchanges?

    This bill is a disaster. And since when does the president get to decide simply NOT to obey the law?

    • Cujo359 July 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      “And since when does the president get to decide simply NOT to obey the law?”

      At least since impeachment was taken off the table, but possibly earlier. Depends on whether you think actions having consequences has an effect on whether people engage in them, or if the idea of doing them is more important.

    • dafederalist July 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      Ha. United Health Group just released a presser stating that they will no longer offer individual plans….WoW.

      • Ga6thDem July 3, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

        That just shows where they stand doesn’t it? It’s not about providing a service. It’s only about taking the money from the people and then not paying out anything.

  4. TPAZ July 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Medicare-4-all. There; I fixed it.

  5. ladywalker68 July 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    My understanding too is that Beth raises a good point. The individual mandate is not delayed so real people get screwed while the businesses get their way. Obama may support Gays and Women but when it comes to the economy in his own way, he is almost as horrible as the Republicans.

    • Ga6thDem July 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      I was wondering how that was going to work? I guess it does not matter whether your company offers insurance or not but you’re still going to be mandated to buy it?

  6. mjsmith July 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    I think this was very smart politically. Only the democrats that stood against this catastrophe would have a chance of holding onto their jobs if this trainwreck went through before the mid-term elections.

    Where are all those personal stories about sick people now?

    • Ga6thDem July 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      No, actually probably people getting insurance would have helped electorally but the Dems are lucky not because of this but because of the flat out craziness of the GOP. All these tea party governors who can’t say out of women’s private parts are probably going to get the boot.

      • secularhumanizinevoluter July 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

        “Where are all those personal stories about sick people now?”

        Doncha just love the way conSERvatives chortle and tale abso-fracking-lute delight in OTHER people’s pain and suffering?

        • mjsmith July 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

          I care about people, that is why I am against Obamacare. Higher costs for lower quality health care is a bad idea.

          • secularhumanizinevoluter July 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

            Yeah….we can tell…you care…you care sooooo much.

      • mjsmith July 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

        I’ll tell you what, Ga – even with the postponement of this abomination, the democrats are going to lose big. On top of that, the very same people that supported President Obama and his platform are now the same people doing everything they can to distance themselves from him and his platform.

        • Ga6thDem July 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

          Yeah, I’ve heard that before. That was the big prediction for 2012 wasn’t it? How did that work out for the Tea Party? The Tea Party got a kick in the pants by the voters but yet they still did not get the message. When your approval rating is 23%, I guess you have nothing to lose at this point in time.

  7. secularhumanizinevoluter July 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    “the democrats are going to lose big. ”

    Says one of the political prophets who said Mitt da Twitt was gonna win.

    • mjsmith July 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

      I never said Mitt was going to win. I do understand that you have a ver hard tie understanding things though. So I understand your confusion.

      • secularhumanizinevoluter July 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

        “I do understand that you have a ver hard tie understanding things though.”

        BWAHAHAHAHAHA! PLEASE tell me you were trying to be funny~!!!

  8. fairmindedindependent July 4, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    Most of us wanted single-payer, but no, the Democrats caved in and went with the DINOs of the party and now look what happens. I don’t no who is going to win in 2014, but I am not liking my choices of either party. The congressional seats are basicly fixed, so its more than likely that Republicans keep the house and alot of Senate Democrats are retiring in 2014 in red states so I would not count them out neither in the Senate. On the state Government level is a whole other story. With Ohio and others passing strict anti-choice laws maybe the Democrats can gain some Governorships. But usually midterms are not good for Democrats.

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and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong