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.