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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Employer Mandate Delayed to 2015


Businesses [with over 50 employees] [/with]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 two officials, who asked not to be identified to discuss the move ahead of its announcement, said the administration decided to wait until 2015 before enforcing the employer mandate in order to simplify reporting requirements and give businesses more time to adapt their health-care coverage.

The White House had been in discussions with business groups over complaints about the reporting requirements, and senior officials believe they can simplify the process, the officials said. President Barack Obama’s administration plans to invite employer groups to discuss ways of simplifying administrative burdens created by the mandate, they said.

Yeah. I mean it's not like the administration and business didn't have three years to prepare. Oh, wait....

Most large employers already provide coverage that meets the law’s requirements, the officials said.

And they'll keep doing that, for sure!

Here's the Treasury blog post where the announcement was made:

Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner

Classic Obot-ese. Wait wait, it's not nuanced?

The Administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin. This is designed to meet two goals. First, it will allow us to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law. Second, it will provide time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees. Within the next week, we will publish formal guidance describing this transition. Just like the Administration’s effort to turn the initial 21-page application for health insurance into a three-page application, we are working hard to adapt and to be flexible about reporting requirements as we implement the law.

Except the "turn the 21-page from into a three-page form" talking point is (a) a scam (one reason it's shorter is that they're making families xerox extra copies) and (b) a bet on a successful backend implementation that has yet to prove out.

And then (still from the Treasury blog post) there's this:

Once these rules have been issued, the Administration will work with employers, insurers, and other reporting entities to strongly encourage them to voluntarily implement this information reporting in 2014, in preparation for the full application of the provisions in 2015. Real-world testing of reporting systems in 2014 will contribute to a smoother transition to full implementation in 2015.

How much you want to bet that the administration couldn't go "real world testing" in 2013? Of course, we can't know, because of the administration's extraordinary secrecy on the progress of ObamaCare's implementation.

And here's Valerie Jarrett on the exchanges from her White House blog:

We’re Listening to Businesses* about the Health Care Law


First, we are cutting red tape and simplifying the reporting process. We have heard the concern that the reporting called for under the law about each worker’s access to and enrollment in health insurance requires new data collection systems and coordination. So we plan to re-vamp and simplify the reporting process. ....

Second, we are giving businesses more time to comply. As we make these changes, we believe we need to give employers more time to comply with the new rules. Since employer responsibility payments can only be assessed based on this new reporting, payments won’t be collected for 2014.

We are full steam ahead for the Marketplaces opening on October 1.

Which, of course, won't be complex or onerous for anybody! No siree.

Double standard, double standard. The only people who can't catch a break are the poor schlubs who get mandated to buy a defective product or get forced into Medicaid!

NOTE * For the White House, "listening" to businesses means giving them what they want." However, "listening" to citizens means running focus groups and polls to figure out the best way to work the con.

NOTE Once again, it all comes down to complexity. And the complexity comes from the willful refusal by the political class as a whole -- including Obama, the Democrats, and career "progressives" -- to put a proven and simple solution on the table: Single payer Medicare for All.

UPDATE And, from The Department of Give Them a Hand and They'll Take Your Arm Off at The Shoulder, The Atlantic:

This all threatens to leave a huge hole in coverage, of course, and so Mazur also implores employers not to hold off on coverage. The idea is that while there will be a one-year gap in enforcement, the lag is meant to allow businesses to get up to speed, not to procrastinate. But for the time being, the administration has blinked.

Average: 5 (3 votes)


katiebird's picture
Submitted by katiebird on

Wouldn't it make more sense for the Companies to be the Beta-Testers than regular people? How many large employers are there? Seems like it would have to be a smaller pool than us-shlubs.

Or why not just delay the whole thing since it's so f*king complex.

Or Hey! Keep it Simple. And just ..... Oh, never mind.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

to ask Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett to expand Medicare to all (as it stood before the ACA diminishments, which are considerable, though "off the radar") from Sept. 13 to 2015 in order to give "consumers" the opportunity to understand and adapt to the complexities of a Health Insurance Program (Obama Care's "Marketplaces") whose requirements and deliverables are still unknown.

Oh wait. That would mean that Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett give a toss about what the consumers marks think or want. Because representative government for the voters is so last century.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

... while the asymmetries between what businesses and corporations get from the White House (a lot of listening and discussing and meetings and "what they want") and what mere US citizens get, are endless, ... here's a cute one:

Businesses get a reprieve from ObamaCare Mandate for one year -- we get ... Navigators and the "three page" application (which Lambert has so thoroughly deconstructed and revealed to be a transparent con).

I guess Obama's and Valerie's "business partners" weren't too satisfied with the option of getting Navigators for Businesses instead of an open-ended "extension" to "2015" (which could mean December 31, 2015 or whatever subsequent years Business gets extensions to) ...

Too bad we were never consulted about whether we thought navigators and the 3-page application were adequate.

LolCat Idea: "I can haz Navigators!"

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

... given that ObamaCare is Barack Obama's "signature legacy" which will not be seen to be perceived to fail (Lambert), I have a feeling that everything might collapse except IRS and HHS and DHS confiscating money from the targeted customers (marks) to make sure the Insurance Companies get what they were promised. By hook or by crook. For instance, I can see the whole marketplace system being such a disaster that nobody ends up signing up. At that point Obama can issue an executive order that IRS -- with all that consumer data and SSA data and whatever other data it has -- start impounding money from any citizen that Obama believes should have signed up for the Crap Products he's pushing. Knocks on the door for the unbanked and surprise debits for the banked or surprise wage garnishments for any wage earners.

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

I started strongly suspecting collapse back in early May: "So you've got this mandated process in which government can't figure out how to do it, private companies can't figure out how to do it, and people can't figure out how to do it. I've gotten very hopeful that it will all collapse."

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

but I don't think that it will help them.

If Medicare was passed and implemented within a year in the 60's--CLEARLY there is NO logical reason that this ridiculous program could not have also been implemented A LONG TIME AGO.

I believe that it was mainly due to electoral considerations, that the ACA was postponed until 2014, and now until 2015.

With even some major authors of this piece of legislative "crap" predicting doom (Max Baucus comes to mind), Dems have decided not to chance allowing this boondoggle to go into effect until AFTER the midterm elections.

But the "cat's out of the bag," now. So any and all disruptions, implosions and fiascos (in general) can be easily laid at the door of the Democratic Party.

I have long held that this bill was passed for two reasons:

1) To relieve governments (local--city and county hospitals, state and federal) of "the burden" of providing healthcare to "the poor,"


2) To "spread the risks," and therefore lower the cost of health insurance for the entrepreneurial class (specifically the wealthiest couple of percent) by raising the premiums significantly on the "regular Joe's" who are mostly insured through their work group health plans, or various unions and/or trade associations.

It's intent was never to help lower income Americans, IMO.

It was simply to make lower income Americans financially responsible for their medical bills.

Here's an excerpt from The Washington Post:

Employers To Get An Extra Year To Implement Health Law Requirement On Coverage

But Republicans pounced on it, declaring it further evidence that the law will cost jobs and increase health care costs.

“This announcement means even the Obama administration knows the 'train wreck' will only get worse,” said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “This is a clear acknowledgment that the law is unworkable, and it underscores the need to repeal the law and replace it with effective, patient-centered reforms.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, noted that the delay takes the issue past the 2014 congressional elections. Hatch also said the fact that the administration was not also giving individuals or families a one-year extension from coverage requirements “shows how deeply flawed the President's signature domestic policy achievement is.”

I agree that it is unfair, if not outright hideous that "employers" are off-the-hook for their financial responsibility, but "the American People" are still stuck with the odious financial responsibility of participating in the so-called "Marketplace."

No doubt, this ruling will allow millions of workers to be easily cast off their group insurance, without employers having to suffer any financial consequences.

Heck, this "rule change" just made Mr. A's employer a cool two million bucks!

I am furious, in case it doesn't show, LOL!

This topic isn't one that I particularly intended to blog on much, but when I am able to resume blogging in the Fall, I'm thinking very seriously as "going on a mission" to cover this topic as feverishly as I did "The Grand Bargain and The Moment Of Truth."

This move may leverage "public opinion" in favor of a full repeal. I believe that it could be done if the Republicans handle the matter smartly. (They are probably not capable of doing this, though. So Dems are probably safe, in this regard.)

And, it's possible that Dems will suffer even more "blowback" at the polls, when citizens understand that "business" got a major break, but they didn't.

Republicans will be able to engender all kinds of resentment, with this new ruling. And that was already going to be a major problem, due to the very different outcomes that will be experienced by Medicaid qualified beneficiaries, depending on which state that they reside in.

Here's what the Dem "hack" Ron Pollack, Families USA, had to say about today's rule change:

Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, which has supported the health law, said he didn’t think the change would have a major impact on expanding health coverage, noting that 94 percent of employers with more than 50 workers offer health insurance. [Does anyone believe this?]

But he did say the decision could delay some employers' decision to start offering coverage or upgrading it to meet minimum benefits of the law.

"The decision, I think, will result in some people not getting coverage who would have received coverage if the employer responsibility provision had not been delayed."

That statement gives new meaning to "talking out of both sides of your mouth, LOL!"

One good thing--this may be the opening that MFA supporters have long needed.

'Cause I really don't believe that when the ACA is "fully implemented," there will be any turning back.

In advance, please excuse typos, etc. Sort of "pushed" this evening. ;-)

wanderindiana's picture
Submitted by wanderindiana on

Thinking that health care reform was just the first step of the cramdown of liberal Democrats, done by design to break the will of the people and create disunity.

Every other step since has been a clear power grab, with tiny social breadcrumbs and bones thrown to distract and pacify.

These are dangerous times, growing more so day by day.