Although last night's decision to delay Obamacare's employer mandate seems like a significant victory for those who oppose it, the Heritage Foundation's Robert Moffit warns that decision reveals two key things:
First, facing the January 1, 2014, deadline, they see disaster in imposing the employer mandate in an election year. The White House is not politically stupid. While government actuaries predicted a modest dumping of workers out of job-based coverage, independent analysts predicted major disruptions in employer-based coverage. That, by the way, may happen anyway. If the taxpayers must subsidize health costs for millions in the exchanges in 2014, what’s to stop employers from offloading their workers and their costs?
Second, Obama’s team knows they need more time to get their heavy regulatory machinery greased and ready to carry out their coercive mission. Obviously, more than three years of central planning is not enough time.
The administration’s action raises more questions than it answers. If they delay the employer mandate for one year, then why not delay the even more unpopular individual mandate? Maybe that’s next. If they delay the individual mandate, won’t they also have to delay insurance rules (like community rating) that could actually increase the numbers of uninsured and set off instability in the insurance exchanges? Maybe so. Because the Obamacare benefit mandates on insurance companies go into effect in 2014, now what are the coverage options and legal liabilities of employers? And, by the way, since the date for the mandate is set for January 1, 2014, in statute, where does the regulatory authority to nullify that date come from? Yes, this is a mess.
Put the champagne back until this monster is fully repealed or at least defunded.