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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

'Putting Off the Employer Mandate'

As I sit in the Houston airport waiting for a connection, a quick one from Jared Bernstein:

Putting Off the Employer Mandate: Well, I didn’t see that coming. The Obama administration announced Tuesday afternoon that it was going to delay an important part of the Affordable Care Act for one year. The rule requiring employers with at least 50 full-time workers to provide them with coverage or pay a penalty (also known as the employer mandate) will now be enforced starting in 2015, not 2014 as originally planned.
Here’s a very brief look at why, what, and what it means. ...
Though the mandate will ultimately affect only a few employers, it is actually an important piece of the law’s architecture. Without it, employers who currently provide coverage to their workers could drop the coverage and send their workers over to the state health care exchanges..., the employer would be shifting what is now a private cost over to the government.
The penalty for such actions was supposed to kick in next year; now they’ll kick in the year after next. ...
How will this affect coverage? Hard to see it having much impact at all. ...

So... Is this delay just not a big deal? Um … this is Washington, folks, and we’re talking Obamacare. There will be much hay made of this delay in coming days. Conservatives will argue that this confirms that the law is unmanageable — which is a bit rich, since many of them have been trying to kill it, block it, and stop it in its tracks. ... Liberals may argue that the administration is caving to business, which just wants to put off the paperwork for a year.
I think it’s an unfortunate delay of an important but relatively small piece of the bill... But that’s not how it will play in the hurly-burly of the next few days of Washington politics.

    Posted by on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 05:22 AM in Economics, Health Care, Politics | Permalink  Comments (124)


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