In what was pre-holiday news dump, the White House announced on Tuesday that it would delay implementation of the employer mandate, which penalizes businesses with 50 or more employees if they don’t offer health insurance coverage, until the beginning of 2015.
“Over the past several months, the Administration has been engaging in a dialogue with businesses - many of which already provide health coverage for their workers - about the new employer and insurer reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively,” wrote Mark Mazur, the Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. “We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so. We have listened to your feedback. And we are taking action.”
“Accordingly, we are extending this transition relief to the employer shared responsibility payments. These payments will not apply for 2014,” he added. “Any employer shared responsibility payments will not apply until 2015.”
The delay of the policy has caused opponents of the law to point back to comments made by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) back in April when he expressed frustration at the Obama Administration’s implementation effort, calling it a “train wreck.” It also takes us back just a couple of weeks, when DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Democrats not to worry about news reports of people losing their health insurance coverage.
It is tacit admission that ObamaCare, President Obama’s signature law, is not meeting expectations. If the administration is forced to delay further implementations of major parts of the law or they implement them when they’re not ready, things could get very bad, very quickly.
This was politically motivated, though the Obama Administration will never admit it. NBC News, one of the administrations foremost apologists in the media, is trying to spin the news by noting that other major aspects of the law, including the individual mandate and state exchanges, aren’t being delayed.
But as Gilmore mentioned “almost every outlet reporting this story has picked up on, this will postpone some of the nastier effects of ObamaCare until just after the 2014 mid-term elections.”
“Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) infamously stated in 2010 that ‘we have to pass the bill [ObamaCare] so that you can find out what is in it,’ he recalled. “Now that we’ve learned what’s in ObamaCare, the Administration’s new motto appears to be that we to wait for President Obama to be clear of the electoral process before we can implement it.”
Already on rocky ground due to several high-profile scandals, the news that the employer mandate is being delayed is just the latest example that there is something is terribly wrong with this administration. Josh Krashaar of the National Journal probably summed it up best by explaining that “Obama’s second-term legacy is shaping up to be more about avoiding crises than accomplishing big things.”
“Salvage the core of a health care law, avoid worst-case scenarios in Egypt and Syria, and don’t get in the way of his party’s efforts to win Republican support for a landmark immigration reform plan,” he wrote. “It’s a far cry from the idealism of his second inaugural. But at this point, the president needs to simply show that he’s paying attention to the fires burning around him.”
As opposed to the perception that Obama is playing the part of Nero, fiddling while Rome burned. Pew Research released a poll earlier this week finding that Obama is viewed as less honest than his predecessor, George W. Bush, and only slightly more competent at this point in their administrations.
With a make-or-break election for President Obama on the horizon next year, this move will only embolden Republicans. There was next to no chance that Democrats would take back the House and, with several vulnerable incumbents up for re-election, Republicans see a window of opportunity to win the Senate. That Leftist wishlist of policies that President Obama hoped to enact during his second term will be completely dead in the water.