Despite the White House's public celebration over its announcement that 7.1 million people signed up for Obamacare, former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs is predicting one significant aspect of the law will be eliminated altogether.
In this Aug. 11, 2009, file photo senior White House adviser David Axelrod, right, and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, left, leave the White House in Washington with President Barack Obama en route to New Hampshire for a town hall meeting. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)
Gibbs predicted that the employer mandate, which requires employers over a certain size to provide health coverage to their employees, won't ever be implemented. It's already been unilaterally delayed twice by the Department of Health and Human Services.
“I don’t think the employer mandate will go into effect,” Gibbs said, speaking at the 2014 Benefits Selling Expo in Colorado Springs, Colo., according to trade publication BenefitsPro. “It’s a small part of the law. I think it will be one of the first things to go.”
Gibbs also said there needs to be better outreach about the law — educating people about deadlines and subsidies — and said there should be financial incentives beyond the fine to sign up.
Gibbs, now an MSNBC analyst, served as White House press secretary from 2009 through early 2011 and was a key adviser on Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.
Current White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked Thursday if he agreed with his predecessor.
"I don't," Canrey said. "As the final rules put out in February made clear, this will be phased in starting next year."
Carney, a former reporter, added, "Having spent time at the pundits table prior to my life here, you can make predictions all the time that turn out not to be true."