Obamacare employer mandate delayed until after midterm elections

doctor_patientThe Obama administration announced late Tuesday afternoon that the Affordable Care Act mandate requiring employers to provide minimum standards of health insurance for their full-time employees by Jan. 1, 2014, has been postponed for one year.

A Treasury Department official claimed the change was implemented to make “reporting requirements a little easier” to accommodate business owners, according to The Hill.

“We basically gave them a little more time to make this easier for them,” the official said.

The delay will make Obamacare less of an issue during the 2014 midterm elections, taking the wind out of Republican challengers’ sails. The GOP had planned to raise incumbent Democratic senators’ voting record on two issues in traditionally “red” states: immigration reform and Obamacare.

The Affordable Care Act has steadily lost popularity – which wasn’t overwhelming from the start — as the public gradually became aware of its provisions. The administration came up with several programs — gimmicks really — to combat the sagging enthusiasm.

For example, the administration is paying both librarians and students to sell Obamacare to a reluctant public, and it tried, without success, to enlist professional sports leagues to do the same.

When hearing news of the delay, National Republican Senatorial Committee Communications Director Brad Dayspring tweeted, “Democrats who spent last four years claiming ObamaCare good, necessary, and supported now trying to claim delaying it is good? Illogical.”

Other Republicans immediately saw through the administration’s subterfuge.

“That the Obama administration is putting off this job-killing requirement on employers, but not individuals and families, shows how deeply flawed the president’s signature domestic policy achievement is,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the Senate Finance Committee’s ranking Republican.

“While a delay of this mandate is welcome news since it shows the challenges the employers are facing complying with it, a delay — conveniently past the 2014 election — only adds to the uncertainty these job creators face because of ObamaCare,” Hatch said.

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza tweeted House Speaker John Boehner’s observation, and Democratic National chair and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz offered a strange, illogical reply.

The Hill’s Elise Viebeck noted:

Some Democrats had openly fretted about the law’s implementation.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), one of the primary architects of the healthcare law, warned in April that small businesses were struggling to come to grips with their new responsibilities.

“Small businesses have no idea what to do, what to expect,” Baucus told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a hearing. “I just see a huge train wreck coming down.”

That train wreck just got a one-year reprieve.

President Obama may be in way over his head when it comes to the nuts and bolts of running the ship of state, but one thing can’t be denied — he’s the consummate campaigner and politician. This latest move is nothing short of one more example of politics — Chicago-style.


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