Skip to comments.Crumble: The Disastrous Obamacare Delay
Posted on 07/03/2013 2:24:42 PM PDT by jazusamo
Katie covered the breaking news last evening -- a classic bad news dump on the front end of a long holiday weekend. The administration is out of luck if it hopes their major announcement will disappear amidst hot dogs and parades; we'll be talking about this move for the next year-and-a-half:
The Obama administration will delay a crucial provision of its signature health-care law, giving businesses an extra year to comply with a requirement that they provide their workers with insurance. The government will postpone enforcement of the so-called employer mandate until 2015, after the congressional elections, the administration said yesterday. Under the provision, companies with 50 or more workers face a fine of as much as $3,000 per employee if they dont offer affordable insurance. Its the latest setback for a health-care law that has met resistance from Republicans, who have sought to make the plan a symbol of government overreach. Republican-controlled legislatures and governors in several states have refused funding to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor and declined to set up exchanges where individuals can buy insurance , leaving the job to the federal government. The delay in the employer mandate addresses complaints from business groups to President Barack Obamas administration about the burden of the laws reporting requirements.
If the White House had listened to business owners before passing this law, they wouldn't be mopping up their own mess today because Obamacare wouldn't exist. This development also marks the death of Democrats' bogus "Republican obstructionism" excuse-making. (It was always bogus because (a) the exclusively Democrat-written and -passed law allowed states to opt out of setting up exchanges, and (b) the mandatory Medicaid expansion element was struck down by seven Supreme Court justices). Now we have the Obama administration delaying a ( second ) major component of its own law due to a combination of incompetence, admitted economic harm and political considerations. Swing and a drive...
Gov. Bobby Jindal ✔ @BobbyJindal
So what happens next? Read Mary Katharine Ham's list of questions is a good place to start, as is Avik Roy's analysis of the immediate implications. A few additional thoughts:
(1) The administration is admitting that the employer mandate will have a detrimental effect on the economy and on hiring. How does adding another year of gray-area and uncertainty rectify those problems, even if the reporting requirements are tightened up a bit? Forty-one percent of business owners polled by Gallup said they're in hiring freeze mode, and nearly 20 percent have actually jobs. Another year of this status-quo morass helps how, exactly?
(2) If large businesses are getting an on-the-fly waiver, why shouldn't every single citizen get extended relief from the individual mandate tax? This is the law's least popular element, so Republicans should flog this point.
(3) Speaking of on-the-fly decisions, the law's language clearly sets an implementation date for the employer mandate, which the president is simply ignoring. Do presidents now have the power to ignore, delay, waive, or suspend significant portions of democratically-enacted laws, at least in part to address of rank political concerns?
(4) A lot of conservatives are arguing that this is little more than a naked attempt to shuffle the consequences of Obamacare beyond yet another election. If this is a major part of the administration's calculus, I'm not sure if it'll add up the way they hope. While the delay may alleviate some potential snags on the jobs front, it will likely incentivize many mandate-free businesses to dump employees into the government exchanges. This will place significant logistical and financial strains on the exchanges, which are also behind schedule in many states. Yuval Levin sketches out another glaring exchange-related problem:
Under the law, eligibility for exchange subsidies depends on an individual not receiving an affordable offer of qualified insurance from an employer. If employers will now not be required to report on their insurance offerings in 2014, I dont see how the government will be able to determine eligibility for subsidies, and therefore how the exchanges will be able to function. Making subsidies available without proof of eligibility would be very expensive and destabilizing to the insurance system, and would also require the retraction of such subsidies if the employer mandate ever does return. Coming up with other ways to prove eligibility would be very difficult at this late stage (as exchanges are supposed to start operating in three months), and would also be totally lawless...
Guy Benson @guypbenson
I sure do . Good plan.
I hear-tell that the funds we will owe the government for healthcare will come out of our tax refunds. Has anyone else heard this?
Why do we continue to stand back and allow Obama to do things that are glaringly in violation of the Constitution?
Is there no one who will/can call him out? This move is hugely in violation of the Constitution and ,what, the Republicans are so busy gloating that they have overlooked the fact that the President doesn’t have that power?
So, we are going into Independence Day this year with a dictator? That’s really going to spoil my picnic...
What is a Republican?
Aren’t they extinct?
Representative Steve King of Iowa has said that Obama has to come to Congress if he wants to do this (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3038779/posts). Good for him. I wonder what will come of this. I WANT them to force Obama to implement this. If it were to be done, let it be done quickly. Let Obama stew in his own Obamacare juices.
It’s looking more and more like it, SLB.
Yes, here is an excellent opportunity for the Repubs to hammer 0bama and his oppressive agenda real good. But, we have a problem. The Repub Establishment.
Example: George Bush was given a political Royal Flush, and he just did what Repubs do best. NOTHING. The voters gave him TWO terms, BOTH houses, and all the support he needed to put the Rats away for a decade or more. And what did we get? NOTHING. So here is a classic example of Repub objectives and effectiveness. Anything but serving the people as the opposition party — just getting what they can out of DC.
They need to be replaced.
It’s already been made known that the nation’s terrorists in black robes will ensure that this comes into full force regardless of how much damage it will do to us,the great unwashed.The day will come when we envy the people of Britain,who are forced to pull their own teeth because they can’t get an appointment with a government dentist.
Because Boehner has the backbone of a soggy noodle.
The interesting thing is that while the employer mandate is delayed, which would have led to mass layoffs, the INDIVIDUAL mandate is still in effect.
So employers can dump your benefits, but you still have to have insurance or pay a fine.
It’s all part of the grand socialist plan. Bring the current medical system thundering down. Destroy every insurance company. CRASH!
The low-information voters will wander dazed and confused among the apocalyptic ruins. They will not look not for the classic Adam Smith free market system but for free health care. They will call for a National Health Service, like in England, where the evil rich are forced to pick up the tab.
One day, a savior will ride down from the mountain top on a white steed. He will offer nirvana. Just take a ticket and get in line for your free surgery. Pretty soon we will be pulling our own teeth.
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