Washington is riven by conflict and deep-seated division. It is rare indeed when both sides can agree on anything consequential. Therefore it is incredibly heartening that there is now bipartisan agreement that the implementation of Obamacare is a mess.
Republicans have long maintained this, but now the Obama administration has lent its implicit assent with its astonishing decision to delay by a year the law’s employer mandate. This is what the administration calls, via a blog post by the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for tax policy that announced the decision, “Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner.”
The Treasury Notes blog can call it whatever it wants, but there is no hiding the embarrassment of a climb-down on a high-profile feature of President Barack Obama’s signature initiative. Although the administration was determined to do all it could to hide it. Obama was apparently planning to announce it on July 3 — only because the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve was too far off.
The purported reason for the delay is incompetence. The administration’s story is that it simply couldn’t find a way to implement the insurance-reporting requirements on employers in the time frame set out in the law. Merely as a side effect, it had to put off the mandate and the $2,000-per-employee fine on employers with more than 50 employees who don’t offer health coverage.
This just happens to be the mandate that is causing howls of pain from businesses and creating perverse incentives for them to limit their hiring or to hire part-time rather than full-time employees. And it just happens that 2015 — the new target for implementation — is after a midterm election year rather than during one.
Read more at Real Clear Politics. By Rich Lowry.
Photo Credit: Fresh Conservative (Creative Commons)