Obama Administration Delays Health Care Law Employer Penalty Until 2015

Republican former CBO director calls decision "deviously brilliant"

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Stephen Lam / Getty Images

President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Calif., on June 6, 2013

The Obama Administration announced on Tuesday that it is delaying implementing a key component of the Affordable Care Act for a year following complaints from the private sector about reporting requirements.

The so-called employer mandate, which penalizes employers with more than 50 employees if they fail to provide a minimum standard of affordable health insurance, was set to kick in in 2014, but now will take effect in 2015, the Treasury Department announced in a blog post first reported by Bloomberg News. The delay not only allows the Administration time to alleviate concerns among business owners, but also takes a controversial component of the law off the table before the midterm elections.

The vast majority of employers that already provide coverage to their employees raised concerns about burdensome reporting requirements under the law, a complaint the Administration is particularly sensitive to. Companies that don’t meet the law’s requirements now have an extra year to alter their policies.

(MORE: Why Our Health Care Lets Prices Run Wild)

“We have been in a dialogue with businesses and we think we can simplify the new reporting — we want to give businesses who want to provide health insurance the time to get this right,” a senior Administration official said, explaining the delay. “Just like our effort to turn the 21-page application for health insurance into a three-page application, we are working hard to adapt and to be flexible in employer and insurer reporting as we implement the law.”

The delay deprives the federal government of a year of penalties that would have been paid by companies that do not meet the law’s requirements, with as yet unknown budgetary effects. Republicans had warned of a downturn in hiring as a result of the mandate.

The so-called individual mandate is unaffected by the rule change. That provision requires the vast majority of Americans to purchase insurance or pay a penalty, with tax credits provided to those who can’t afford coverage.

Republican former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin called the move “deviously brilliant,” by removing a potential electoral impediment from in front of congressional Democrats before the midterms.

“Democrats no longer face the immediate specter of running against the fallout from a heavy regulatory imposition on employers across the land,” Holtz-Eakin wrote. “Explaining away the mandate was going to be a big political lift; having the White House airbrush it from the landscape is way better.”

The Administration will publish formal guidance on the rule change within the next week.

MORE: And Now, the Selling of Obamacare

1389 comments
WentworthCheswell
WentworthCheswell

And Obama's lost "reportedly" 9 million jobs (it's really 21 million jobs) forever, never to come back, since he's been elected.....and GWB had 9/11 and a recession and the subprime lending crisis which was caused by Democrat Andrew Cuomo.....as Clinton's HUD secretary, suing Accubank in Texas and winning $2.1 BILLION in subprime loans which started the subprime mortage crisis way back in April 1998 and those loan terms were (five years no interest, balloon after five and higher than normal interest rates after five years because a subprime loan IS A RISKY LOAN.....youtube it, HUD archives read it, CSPAN archives listen to it....go find it.....and where was GWB during the time the subprime loan crisis was created by Cuomo and Clinton?  he was Governor of Texas in 1998........that was hard to cypher!  You are all alike, no thinking, no responsibility, just spew what you've been told...delphi technique....no critical thinking skills whatsoever....do you know who Wentworth Cheswell was?  He was a BLACK founding father, Revolutionary Soldier that rode with Paul Revere (textbooks removed my name) and cobbled together soldiers to fight the Battle at Portsmouth that helped win the Revolutionary War...also, Joseph Rainey was the first black elected speaker of the House of Representatives in, wait for it, wait for it, 1874.  Have you ever heard of those two names in our history books?  NO, you haven't and you don't know much either.  But who needs to know real hard facts, hum?

Libtards-UNITE
Libtards-UNITE

Aztecian is the perfect spokesman for Obama.  Enough said.

RichardVandiamondsworth
RichardVandiamondsworth

Corrupt vermin taxocrats at it again.  The 'secret' is out:  obozocare is designed to wreck American health care.  Expect a brutal beating at the polls in 2014, taxorats.  All your dead and imaginary voters won't save you this time.

drippolito2
drippolito2

No argument for the repeal of Obamacare can top the simple fact that ... for months trying to find a way to exempt Members of Congress and their staffs from ... Favored businesses and unions got special exemptions (more than 1,200 .... The unborn will continue to be murdered in the womb at our expense ...

garvasio
garvasio

The Individual Mandate Penalty

The individual mandate requires compliance or pay a penalty that is specified in the law starting in 2014, the IRS will enforce and collect the penalties through the annual income tax filing.

The individual mandate penalty tax assessment is as follows: you will pay the greater of the two of a flat fee or percentage of income. Years 2014, $95 or 1% of income, 2015, $325 or 2% of income, 2016 (full implementation), $695 or 2.5% of income. Children count as half an adult, families maximum penalty is the greater of three times an adults or the 2.5% of income. All penalties are capped at the lowest cost (bronze) plan on your state's health insurance exchange and after 2016 the flat fee penalties will tied to a cost of living index. There are a number exemptions including but not limited to hardship, religion, Native Americans, veterans coverage, to the incarcerated prison population.

jack.foobar.42
jack.foobar.42

I'm pretty sure this is caled illegal, not brilliant.

MelWahl
MelWahl

Let's see.  32 million uninsured that could just drop into any emergency room and be taken care of for free, no appointments, no co pays!!

Obama wants to give them insurance so that they can now make an appointment and wait, for how long to see a Dr.? Do the paper work make and make a possible co-pay for the same level of service.

Pick one !   

The un-insured were better off being un-insured.  Obamacare has done them no favor.
But to understand that consequence would have required people with real brains to figure out.

rlc14433
rlc14433

This is what happens when a divided nation of makers and takers foolishly 'elects' an unqualified, fraud-filled, compulsive lying, racist community agitator with no business, military or medical experience and a black 'payback' mentality named Hussein Obama, who radically increased welfare, food stamps, government handouts and race baiting class warfare rhetoric for votes. 

jschmidt
jschmidt

I guess the Dems do think people are stupid/ THe business have to deal with the same mess just after the Dems try to take back the House in 2014. But if the voters are smart they'll vote the Dems out of control of the Senate and bring an end to Obama legislation that has messed up the country.

DeBee
DeBee

Whoooa Big Fella! It is an error to note that companies will be "penalized"! Remember the Supreme Court says there are NO penalties---it is a "Tax"! Ask SC Justice Roberts---Congress does not have the power to levy penalties, but can levy taxes!

trefaller
trefaller

Obamacare is a bad bill, a train wreck. Logic and reason don't mean a thing to the libs. Even Gore says Ethanol does't work          

but the narcissist chief is going ahead anyway. But, heaven forbid the Republicans coming up with a workable solution, they would rather just complain.Dr Ben Carson is talking a good solution. :But where is the media?  Oh, you mean the sharia press?

ConstitutionLo1
ConstitutionLo1

As Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "You know things are bad when you can’t even successfully implement your own bad ideas."

PhilipHage
PhilipHage

This delay was BUSH's fault.  During the last two years of his administration he did nothing to prepare the Affordable Care Act for implementation.  Upon his election, Obama tried to get the ACA back on track, but the Republicans in the House sabotaged his every effort.  The callously re-branded it as ObamaCare when the implementation efforts failed.  Blame BUSH and the Republicans for the current problems.  One last point:  this is satire.

ToddSchouest
ToddSchouest

I guess the media has got his back...  No worries... "I PASSED MY SIGNATURE LEGISLATION!!!  HEALTH CARE IS FREE!"... Now costs are skyrocketing around the nation and companies are dropping employees healthcare plans like hot rocks and cutting employee hours...  Remember "Lean Forward"...  Right into the abyss...

ToddSchouest
ToddSchouest

"I AM ON YOUR SIDE BUSINESS PEOPLE!  I AM THE PRESIDENT AND I AM GOING TO STRIKE DOWN THESE TERRIBLE LAWS UNTIL AFTER THE 2014 ELECTIONS!  (Uhhmm... does anybody realize this is my hard earned signature legislation? Hope not...)  FIRED UP AND READY TO GO!!!!  FIRED UP AND READY TO GO!!! FIRED UP AND READY TO GO!!!!


yarply12
yarply12

Devious. I heard some pro abortionist were chanting his name at a rally in texas.

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

Damn right brother! All these libtards need to gtfo of MURICA!!!!!!! We need bush back! Everyone knows us conservatives are the only logical thinkers in the world!!! F these liberal fktards! Liberal freaks!!!!!! They're all gay loving illegals who need to go back to Iraq!!!!!! MURICA FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONSERVATARDS UNITE!!!!!!!!!!!!

judithod
judithod

@MelWahl There were never 32 million uninsured when Obama was hawking the ACA at the townhall meetings. According to the Bureau of Stats, there were only about 16 million uninsured, and most of those were eligible for Medicaid or S-CHIP but too stupid or too lazy to apply. And another handful who could afford insurance simply didn't want to pay for it.

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

Brother you are incredibly dense. But yea you're right, our problems would be solved if his name was something more MURICAN like Walker Bush!

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

Your BO is both predictable and brilliant!

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ConstitutionLo1 Is this the same Gov Bobby Jindal that said  "We need to stop being the stupid party" and then doubled down on his own stupidity?

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

Of course my brother Philly voted for Bush both times. Seriously though let's get NObamer out of the office and bush back in charge just like it should be! MURICA!!!!

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

This is what happens when a divided nation of makers and takers foolishly 'elects' an unqualified, fraud-filled, compulsive lying, racist community agitator with no business, military or medical experience and a black 'payback' mentality named Hussein Obama, who radically increased welfare, food stamps, government handouts and race baiting class warfare rhetoric for votes. One last point: this is moronic.

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

Your life is bs. Grow up child, take a nap and go to college one day, please?

garvasio
garvasio

@MuricanBob That is not what ric1443 said.  Try to stay focused and out of progressive fantasy land for a moment.  The fact that Obama has a Muslim middle name was not the issue.  The fact that Obama is guilty of all of the mentioned social injustice is.

ConstitutionLo1
ConstitutionLo1

@mantisdragon91 @ConstitutionLo1 Not sure what you are referring to and not interested enough to look it up.  There has been a long history to erode the rule of law in this country with many hands involved.  This is what happens when you grow the government too big.  This is not about whose side is guiltier.  If you thought it was a bad thing then, why do you defend the same thing now?

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

Your*. Come on brother, she's my 2nd cousin so it's ok! But seriously I can tell by your name calling you really need some time to mature. Like I said, please go to college or at least get your GED! Just because you claim you're Native American doesn't mean you can't get an education, heck it will be free for you if you're a genuine native.

aztecian
aztecian

@MuricanBob you are a retard.  go back to playing the banjo with you cousin-wife.

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

Whoops, obviously* looks like I am a stupid doo-doo head lol

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

My Aztec brother obvious does not catch my drift. I could say the same about you but you are being your true self. Give it up, and grow up, your 2nd grade name calling really hurts peoples feeling ;)

aztecian
aztecian

@MuricanBob you're not doing yourself any favors. give it up idiot...it just looks stupid. 

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

Yea you both are 100% correct. Lets get bush back in charge!!! All this would have been perfectly fine if McCain or Romney would've won. MURICA!!! Right?

MuricanBob
MuricanBob

Lololol I can sense your rage throught the Internet. Take a nap my friend.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ConstitutionLo1 @mantisdragon91 Perhaps before you say anything else you do need to look it up an educate yourself. Cheney and Yoo authored the greatest expansion of presidential powers in our life time. Including but not limited too wireless surveillance, signing statements and expanded war time powers. Until what they did is challenged in court and they are tried and arrested for treason, nothing else can be changed.