Representatives of the Obama Administration announced on Tuesday that a key component of ObamaCare was being put on hold until 2015.
The announcement of the delay came from the Treasury Department, noting that the processes for reporting coverage was too confusing in its current form. The decision came after numerous employers complained about the difficulty in complying.
“We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively,” read a statement from Mark Mazur, the assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury Department. “We have listened to your feedback. And we are taking action.”
The delay will allow the Obama Administration to simplify the reporting processes and provide employers an additional year before they have to comply, as the requirements were slated to go into effect in 2014 before the announcement
Opponents of ObamaCare were quick to point out how the delay supports their concerns about the healthcare mandate. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming noted that the delay was nothing short of an admission by the Obama Administration that ObamaCare is “unaffordable, unworkable, and unpopular.”
“It’s also a cynical political ploy to delay the coming train wreck associated with ObamaCare until after the 2014 elections,” Barrasso added.
Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor from the White House, provided additional details about the delay in the employer component of ObamaCare.
“First, we are cutting red tape and simplifying the reporting process,” Jarrett wrote. “Some of this detailed reporting may be unnecessary for businesses that more than meet the minimum standards in the law.”
Jarrett’s comments were in reference to concerns from employers that they would have to import date on all insurance options available to a given employee and compare that against their insurance plans to ensure each individual had options that met the government’s minimum requirements for coverage and cost.
“This allows employers the time to test the new reporting systems and make any necessary adaptations to their health benefits while staying the course toward making health coverage more affordable and accessible for their workers,” Jarrett added.
Randy Johnson, a senior vice president of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits, noted the delay was the Obama Administration finally admitting to what employers have known since the plan was first communicated to them.
“Employers need more time and clarification of the rules of the road before implementing the employer mandate,” Johnson said. “We will continue to work to alleviate this and other problems with ObamaCare.”
When ObamaCare goes into effect, it will require that companies that employee 50 or more employees must offer a minimum level of healthcare insurance or pay increasingly steep fines.
Despite the delay until 2015, the Obama Administration urged employers to start providing insurance in 2014 as though ObamaCare was in effect.
The statement from the Treasury Department delaying the employer component of ObamaCare did not mention the individual component, which is the requirement that individuals obtain healthcare insurance. Presumably, this individual requirement still goes into effect in starting January 1, 2014.
That means individuals may not be able to look to their employers as a place where they can obtain that insurance. However, independent insurance organizations are still expected to provide options to individuals starting October 1. These organizations will still receive numerous subsidies from the government to make it profitable for them to supply insurance that complies with the requirements of ObamaCare. These subsidies are funded by tax dollars allocated to make the program viable.
Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.