Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The White House Blinks on the Obamacare Employer Mandate

Businesses won't be required to cover their workers' insurance -- at least not until 2015.


With less than six months to go before the Affordable Care Act takes effect, the administration has decided not to implement a crucial element of the law for one year. The requirement that businesses provide insurance to their workers is being pushed back to 2015, Bloomberg News scoops:
Businesses won't be penalized next year if they don't provide workers health insurance after the Obama administration decided to delay a key requirement under its health-care law, two administration officials said.

The decision will come in regulatory guidance to be issued later this week. It addresses vehement complaints from employer groups about the administrative burden of reporting requirements, though it may also affect coverage provided to some workers.
Of course, it's the individual mandate to purchase insurance that has gotten the most attention and was the most disputed ground during the Supreme Court case challenging the law last year: Could the government force individuals to buy insurance or else pay a fee? The justices decided, ultimately, that it could -- but only if the fee was labeled as a tax. Ironically, though, the individual mandate isn't expected to cover that many Americans, since most of us have insurance through our employer, Medicare, or Medicaid.
That brings us to the employer mandate.


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