There’s a big catch in the latest employer mandate delay

Medium-sized businesses owners hoping to qualify for the latest employer mandate enforcement delay will have to certify in filings with IRS that they have not laid off workers or reduced full-timers’ hours to avoid tax penalties (emphasis added):

Companies that have 100 or more full-time workers, defined as employees who work more than 30 hours per week, still will have to begin complying with the mandate to offer such coverage in 2015 or face financial penalties of at least $2,000 and up to $3,000 per worker.

Officials said that any business claiming they are eligible for the new one-year delay because they have fewer than 100 workers must certify, under penalty of perjury, that it had not reduced its workforce merely to qualify for that exemption.

Consider that some small businesses had been laying off workers or cutting hours specifically because of the employer mandate provision. These business owners couldn’t afford to offer health insurance coverage to their workers, so they made decisions necessary to avoid added costs.

This is what these delays have brought. The law clearly states that the employer mandate was to take effect at the beginning of 2014. The administration delayed it for a year because of the negative headlines. Now, with Democrats’ control of the Senate on the line, the administration delayed it again.

Not only does the law say that the employer mandate was supposed to take effect, there is absolutely no authority anywhere in its text to require an employer to meet this completely arbitrary criteria.

So rather than be honest about the effect that the mandate is having on employers and their workers, the administration wants to put business owners in the tough position of doing something they financially may not be able to afford or lie to a powerful federal agency. That makes no sense at all.

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