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Sunday, September 25, 2016

The White House’s decision shows sympathy for big employers, but it’s not clear whether employees will have to shoulder the cost.

The surprise announcement from the Obama administration that it will delay for one year penalizing employers that do not offer health coverage to their workers is the latest capitulation by the White House to big businesses that want to shirk their responsibility to help pay for health insurance. But the decision leaves huge unanswered questions about whether health coverage for uninsured workers will also be denied.

Yesterday, the Treasury issued a notice delaying for one year, until 2015, the requirement that employers of more than 50 full-time employees (3 percent of all employers) report on whether they offer health coverage to their employees. The Affordable Care Act requires that these employers pay penalties when they they do not offer qualified coverage or when their workers access coverage through the new health care exchanges. The Treasury’s notice does not change the legal requirement that employers provide coverage, but it effectively negates enforcement of that requirement. The delay comes even though the Treasury has had more than three years to prepare to implement the law and an entire new industry has emerged advising employers on how to comply.

The notice, full of sympathy for employers who have to comply with the reporting requirements, totally ignores the implications for employees. What will happen to workers for companies that do not offer health insurance or that offer coverage that does not meet the law’s minimum requirements? These are huge questions, and it is remarkable that the Obama administration would publish the Treasury Department notice without addressing them.

Under the Affordable Care Act, workers who are offered acceptable coverage at work are not eligible to access health insurance through the new health insurance marketplaces (“exchanges”), which offer income-based subsidies to purchase health coverage. These workers must purchase the employer coverage or pay a fine.

So what happens under the Treasury Department rule if the marketplaces have no way to determine whether a worker has been offered qualified coverage? Would the uninsured worker be able to get subsidized coverage? It would be cruel to make employees, most of whom work for low wages, wait another year to get health insurance because the administration is giving big employers a break on reporting. If the administration is going to give employers a break, it should not do so at the expense of millions of uninsured or underinsured workers who have been looking forward to having health insurance available to them on January 1, 2014.

  • 4sanity4all

    I am glad the author has raised the question- what about the workers? They have been looking forward to being able to get affordable health insurance, and I hope that the administration is planning to offer them a fair way to get that coverage, even though employers have been granted more time. I do not understand why small business owners are still acting like they cannot comply, the information channel has been put in place. It seems to me that this is just more whining and pressure from cheap business owners who want to keep pushing back until the government gives up and lets them off the hook. The GOP has been salivating over this on the news, gleefully predicting the demise of the ACA. And not one of them expressed any concern for the employees that this will impact. We have waited so long for the ACA to be implemented, and now some people will have to wait another year? The administration should stop trying to appease people who cannot ever be appeased, and do what is right for the weary citizens that the ACA was designed to help. After all, if employers had offered jobs with living wages and benefits, the government would not be forcing them to do the right thing.

    • angelsinca

      “And not one of them (the GOP) expressed any concern for the employees that this will impact”

      They already did express concern over the ppACA impact to business. If you take the genuine concern one simple step further, any effect on the employer obviously has a direct effect on the employee.

      • Sand_Cat

        Wow, is that weak! But that’s the best the GOP can do.

        • angelsinca

          How do you explain Obama’s illegal delay of the more harmful provisions of the ACA?

          • Sand_Cat

            I don’t have to explain anything to you, first because I don’t answer to you, and second because you obviously already know everything, or think you do.
            Your first post shows you agree with the claim made, even as you attempt to disparage it. But your agreement is not necessary in view of the fact of GOP hostility to labor, and to all of us who don’t meet their minimum income requirements. But go ahead and tell yourself they give a hoot in hell for you. If you make more than 2-300,000 per annum, maybe they even do.

          • angelsinca

            “But go ahead and tell yourself they give a hoot in hell for you. ”

            Again, I don’t rely om my political party to care for me. I rely on them to govern, specifically by guarding the Constitution and obeying the laws. This is why I am unable to embrace the DNC. Thanks

          • angelsinca

            I understand if you are unable to explain illegal actions by Obama. After all, the deceit began long before he presented himself as a presidential candidate or forced a fatally flawed ACA on the people.

  • Catskinner

    The administration could see that this provision was going to hurt Democrats in the 2014 election, so they delayed the implementation. It’s that simple.

    • Germansmith

      Bingo!!!

    • bikejedi

      YES and now his Liberal PR Media will do everything they can to bury this or spin it

  • Lovefacts

    As a Democrat, I’m disgusted by Obama’s actions and wish he’d grow a set. The law impacts businesses with 50+ employees and 98% of those business already provide health insurance. IMO, unless Obama grows a set, he can forget his administration’s legacy. Of course, all this could have been avoided had Medicare been expended to include the entire country. Everyone would have paid for it through payroll deductions, even with welfare. Then we could have bought a secondary policy to cover the rest.

    IMO, Obama’s actions could cause potential Democratic voters not to vote in 2014; thereby insuring a Republican Congress and Senate and possibly the WH in 2016.

    • Germansmith

      I expect that Democrats understand the political implications of implementing a badly crafted law would cause massive confusion, unhappiness and unemployment and would for sure kill any chance of Democrats gaining the House and keeping control of the senate in 2014.
      I agree, we could have all avoided this crap by implementing a “better” Medicare type plan for all (basic services and critical hospitalization) and allow the market to fulfill the needs of those that have additional requirements and money to pay.
      How to make a better medicare type plan? keep congress away of what, whom and how much services are paid for

  • Germansmith

    It is just a political decision to save any chance he has to have a Democratic Congress.
    Obamacare parts affecting large employer will cause widespread unemployment as employers will be more willing to consider outsourcing to contract workers instead of hiring.
    Other sections of Obamacare will cause confusion, unhappiness and massive federal spending…so good luck with that dream

    • bikejedi

      You got it . It is amazing to me that even Dems who claim to be American or to care about America wont admit both the evil hypocrisy of their heroes but also how patently bad this bill is . If they had any independence of thought or ethics they would be speaking out against this also . They also would change their voting habits .

  • bikejedi

    Well the ACA should be renamed the UCA as in Unaffordable Healthcare Act . It is a train wreck that has no chance of existing in its current form . Obama and his regime postponed this not because the difficulty in implementation but because they know America HATES it and when they find out what’s in it oh boy ..No one would vote for any Dem Incumbent in the midterms if this evil was unleashed on time . That is the disingenuous reason for delaying it . They are trying to save their a$$e$$.

    The way the bill is structured is patently unfair . In its simplest form it simply is a Socialist Wealth Redistribution Scheme . It is designed to take money from producers in the private sector or their employers and funnel it to people on Entitlements and Illegal Aliens as a ” Free Benefit ” . Most of those people vote Dem, sooooooo. They should not be allowed to get away with this chicanery

    And before you go off on me as some Conservative who hates Socialized Insurance ( not health care there’s a difference ) I should point out that I agree with Obama that some changes were needed . The funding is where we disagree . You can’t fund something on the backs of producers and their employers and give them an avenue to opt out in a Tax Penalty , and not expect them to take the cheaper route . Especially in a bad economy where you have to pay 4.50 /gal gas . You can’t do that and then exempt every Union and half of Pelosi’s district and expect ANYONE to think that is fair . What you essentially are doing is asking producers to fund a benefit for YOUR voters . A more fair and Balanced approach would’ve been a 1% National sales Tax to fund it . The Dems , when they wrote the bill , didn’t want to be seen as raising taxes in a bad economy so they did it in the epically bad way we see today . My proposal would mean that everyone pays into it and it is fair to everyone . That , however wasn’t Obama and the Dems goal . their goal was to buy support and votes by supplying low information people with something they think is free and without consequences

  • bikejedi

    Well It seems none of the normal Obama backers want to try to back this up or spin it . I wonder why ? Maybe they too can see that it makes the Dems look like self serving hypocrite who are just trying to save their seats because they know that Obamacare is an epic failure

    • 4sanity4all

      Are you aware that the administration has been trying to get information out to explain the ACA, but the Republicans have blocked all funding for the public relations that would explain it to everyone. They have tied the hands of the administration, to satisfy their own evil ends. However, the ACA is the law of the land, and it will go into effect. In October, the exchanges will be disseminating information to people, and most will be covered by January 2014, regardless of how much the Republicans try to make it fail. It will succeed, even though Republicans have wasted massive amounts of time and money trying to defeat it. The majority of people in this country voted for President Obama, largely because they wanted affordable healthcare. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it will go away. You may even enjoy being able to have healthcare in spite of having a pre-existing condition some day.

      • bikejedi

        First off what does that have to do with delaying the Bill just because you know it will cost you seats ? Second there is no way in HELL it can succeed in this form for the funding doesn’t come close to adding up . Then you say it will succeed and you base that on the fact the people voted for Obama ????? Well 2 things come to mind immediately when I read that . 1 most of Obama’s voters are on entitlements or in Public or Private Unions that have been exempted from being revenued for Obamacare . The people on entitlements are too stupid to realize that nothing is free and the Public Union people are getting taken care of by the Tax Payers .Secondly there is nothing affordable about Obamacare . The other thing that comes to mind is …do you think the few Tax Payers that voted for Obama would vote for him now that they know what’s in it ??? Judging by the fact that polls show an ever growing number of Americans hate it I doubt it .

        Let me address the lunacy and outright lies you made up about Republicans and how they are trying to block funding for Obamacare PR . First why resort to using a Liberal Talking that Republicans are just trying to be obstructionists . That is silly and it is a blatant lie . NO Bill in History has ever enjoyed the PR both free from Liberal Media and paid for by U S Tax Dollars as Obamacare . It has been a 4yr campaign paid for by us and included trying to brainwash California School kids to talk it up . It is Lunacy to suggest they aren’t getting PR funding . Sebelius is also asking companies and corporations to donate and talk up this evil tax law . to the point that most Companies have stated they feel pressured to comply or else .., Your post makes no logical sense
        Obamacare is an epic failure designed to do just that ..fail at which points the Govt will try to implement single payer . If they were smart they would have made the revenuing function of this evil bill based on a consumer tax so everyone paid into it based on their ability to buy stuff . A 1 % sales tax would have done it and been easily assimilated . But then they could not have given their entitlement voters something for free that is just based on the Socialist idea of Wealth Redistribution

  • This is a non issue. It’s just been thrown out on the floor for the opponents to chew on, it’s meaningless.
    We’re moving towards a single payer system where everyone has the same coverage period. No more screwing around with the numbers.
    Yeah insurance companies need to reinvent themselves, they will.
    The object though is for everyone to have health care insurance and that objective is much closer today than at any other time.

    • angelsinca

      “We’re moving towards a single payer system where everyone has the same coverage period”

      Right, with exceptions to the privileged lawmakers, and those granted waivers in business, and those that can afford better-than-substandard services afforded by the ACA scheme. That health insurance premiums under Obamacare are rising MORE than for the increases the insurance companies were admonished by Obama BEFORE the ACA is another ecellent reason to abort this mostly-flawed scheme.

    • bikejedi

      You are right about one thing . A Socialist or Communist single payer is the goal of the Marxist Obama . The Insurance companies will reinvent themselves ? Good one they would be taken over by the Govt in that scenario . the only people who would say this is a non issue would be the cult like devotees of Obama and the Dems . These people like those who rule them are willing to usurp their own judgement morals and ethics to say it is OK to delay this even thought they know that the only reason that the Dems want to delay it is because they know it is so epically bad that if they didn’t do that they could not get elected . But you seem ok with that level of duplicitous hypocrisy . And that same covereage for everyone is so laughable it doesn’t merit a comment . If you grew up in Chicago and saw how the Party takes care of its own ( in the Public Unions and those on entitlements ) and soaks everyone else to pay for it you would understand …

      • Sand_Cat

        Once again, you display your sparkling ignorance.

        • bikejedi

          Once again you have nothing to offer yourself but to try to slam someone who you cant debate …go hide your head in the sand …pussy

          • Sand_Cat

            So the true nature comes through despite your efforts to pretend you’re not a knuckle-dragging bigot and moron. Was that last word supposed to be an insult? I won’t engage in a duel of wits with an unarmed baboon.

          • bikejedi

            There it is the bigot card ??/ Where the race card ???? When you cant debate on merit just try to debase with ridicule ? I didnt call you a moron or a bigot but your actions perfectly display two things 1 you have nothing to debate and two you described yourself …go hide in the sand or pound sand up your …..you lose

          • Sand_Cat

            So you think that calling me a “pussy” makes you look tough and manly, but all it does is confirm that you are a sad little misogynist who thinks facts and sanity can be erased by your pathetic attempts to “unman” the opposition.
            Most of the women on this site – excluding a couple of trolls – are far more intelligent and better informed than you could ever dream of being, and some of them could probably kick your sorry, cowardly ass, so I’ll identify with them over piggish dolts like you any day.

          • bikejedi

            Actually I thought you were a Dude …

          • bikejedi

            Oh and stupid moron …you started the name calling …Bitch

        • bikejedi

          Oh and I see you aren’t stupid enough to dispute that Obama is just delaying this evil to try to keep mid term seats …Im glad that you don’t dispute that the bill is such a train wreck that the Dems don’t want it costing them seats …kudos for seeing that …Now you should start speaking up against it .,.I mean if your own rulers think is sucks why would you keep defending it ?

          • Sand_Cat

            Why would I bother to dispute anything someone like you says?

          • bikejedi

            Yes why would you try to dispute fact and logic …You would only make your self look silly