Looks like someone finally read the bill.
The Obama administration is postponing the ’employer mandate’ — which would levy financial penalties on businesses with more than 50 employees that fail to provide health insurance that meet the minimum standards and “affordability” — until 2015. The move delays implementation of at least one component of the unpopular law until after the next mid-term elections. A coincidence, no doubt.
Individuals? You’re still on the hook.
From the Treasury Department statement:
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. 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.
The press release from the administration is titled “Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner.” If comprehensive health care legislation had been passed in a careful, thoughtful manner we might have something a lot more constructive on our hands.
In any event, the decision prompts several questions. Among them: 1 -Can the administration unilaterally decide when and how a law is implemented? If so, can Congress decide when and how to fund it? 2- Why is the employer mandate delayed but not the individual mandate? 3 – Why is it that the populist Obama administration acts on complaints from large companies but fights all the way to the Supreme Court to levy fines on individuals?
Follow David Harsanyi on Twitter @davidharsanyi.