CMS Announces 1 Year Delay of ACA Employer Mandate

From The Hill’s Health Watch Blog:

The ObamaCare employer mandate requiring businesses to provide their workers with health insurance will be delayed by a year, the administration said Tuesday in a stunning announcement.

Delaying the requirement until 2015 is an enormous victory for businesses that had lobbied against the healthcare law.

It also means one of healthcare reform’s central requirements will be implemented after the 2014 midterm elections, when the GOP is likely to use the Affordable Care Act as a vehicle to attack vulnerable Democrats.

White House officials cast the delay as a decision necessary to give employers more time to comply with the rules, while Republicans said it showed President Obama’s signature legislative achievement was fatally flawed.

Former Obama adviser David Axelrod on Wednesday insisted history would look kindly on the law.

President Obama’s “view is that we ought to plow forward, make sure this can work, and we’re going to look back at it, and it’s going to be our proudest accomplishment,” Axelrod said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

In a White House blog post, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett wrote Tuesday that the delay would give employers more time to adjust to the system.

“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 wrote.

Jarrett also wrote that the delay would help in “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,” Jarrett said. “So we plan to re-vamp and simplify the reporting process.” Read full article here.

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