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by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

February 11, 2014 - 10:39 am

President Obama said a day after the employer mandates for healthcare coverage were delayed that the penalties assessed on those not carrying insurance aren’t intended “to punish folks.”

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced yesterday that businesses employing 50 to 99 workers won’t be assessed penalties on the non-insured until 2016. Employers with 100 or more workers will be able to phase in coverage to 70 percent of full-time workers in 2015 and 95 percent in 2016 and beyond to avoid being assessed fines starting next year.

Appearing at a joint press conference with visiting French President Francois Hollande, Obama said the announcement “was fairly straightforward.”

“The overwhelming majority of firms in this country already provide health insurance to their employees and are doing the right thing. The small percentage that do not, many of them are very small and are already exempted by law, so you have just this small category of folks who don’t provide health insurance, weren’t exempted by law. They are supposed to make sure that they meet their responsibilities so that their employees aren’t going to the emergency room, jacking up everybody else’s costs, and the employers end up not having any responsibility for them,” Obama said.

“What we did yesterday was simply to make an adjustment in terms of their compliance, because for many of these companies, just the process of complying — you know, they’re midsize, between 50 and 100 folks — it may take them some time, even if they’re operating in good faith. And we want to make sure that the purpose of the law is not to punish them. It’s simply to make sure that they are either providing health insurance to their employees or that they’re helping to bear the costs of their employees getting health insurance,” he continued.

Republicans jumped on Obama for refusing to allow individuals the same tax-penalty relief. The president called his actions “consistent, actually, with what we’ve done in the individual mandate.”

“The vast majority of Americans want health insurance. Many of them couldn’t afford it. We provide them tax credits. But even with the tax credits, in some cases they still can’t afford it, and we have hardship exemptions, phase-ins, to make sure that nobody is unnecessarily burdened. That’s not the goal. The goal is to make sure that folks are healthy and have decent health care,” Obama said.

“And so this was an example of administratively us making sure that we’re smoothing out this transition, giving people the opportunities to get right with the law, but recognizing that there are going to be circumstances in which people are trying to do the right thing and it may take a little bit of time.”

Obama added that “our goal here is not to punish folks.”

“Our goal is to make sure that we’ve got people who can count on the financial security that health insurance provides. And where we’ve got companies that want to do the right thing and are trying to work with us, we want to make sure that we’re working with them, as well. And that’s going to be our attitude about, you know, the law generally. How do we make it work for the American people and for their employers in an optimal sort of way?”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
Barack the Sun King's message to the American People : "I dare you to try and stop me."
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is only one problem with all of this: Caesar Augustus Obama does not have the legal authority to make rules delaying the implementation of this or any other law unless that authority is explicitly written into a particular law. It is NOT written into 0care.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wish Obama would stop saying 'folks.' The fake humility is just too much.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (31)
All Comments   (31)
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So this is an admission that the law is punishment.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
You may be an Obama supporter, but are you really willing to support others who will be given your tax money to pay for their health insurance? Your rates go up to support them and your annual deductible amount goes up, too. Obama is trying to delay this, but from then on FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE you will pay those higher rates and deductible costs. Since the Democrats all voted for it, they can’t be depended on to join the effort. It’s up to us to vote for Republicans to get enough people in office who want to repeal the law. This is for all government levels. Remember, it’s YOUR money so vote your pocketbook. This situation is hardly different from your taxes being assigned to support an illegal alien, and that will happen when Amnesty is the law. If you don’t believe that surprise is buried in Obamacare, see
http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2012/october/11/health-care-immigrants.aspx Also, medical taxes go up in 2014. See http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-taxes.php Join with us to our mutual benefit in the Primary elections and in November 2014. After obamacare is repealed or defunded we can go back to our normal bickering.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama's punishing me by always referring to people as "folks." What the Hell is that -- some kind of code language for "Honkies"?

ANYHOO... Obama should take a lesson from Stalin. When Stalin collectivized agriculture, he didn't depend on a massive flood of propaganda to force peasants into the collective farms. He had killers, the NKVD, troikas of summary-justice tribunals. He also had trains to Siberia, and a man-made famine. He didn't mess around with his "folks."

Now that Obama has collectivized medical care, he should study the master, and learn to coerce medical professionals, insurance companies, common ordinary "folks" and everybody à la mode de Stalin.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Without even reading this article. It depends on the meaning of the word "folks."
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Obama, you LIE.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
No it is just a side benefit.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
REALLY...Mr. POTUS, you don't want to PUNISH me? Then why did you set the stage for my good Individual Plan PPO to be cancelled & for the same price now all I can afford is sh!tty HMO & an equivalent PPO would have cost me an extra $350.00 per month? Oh yeah, I forgot...it's because my good PPO didn't cover Maternity Care & Birth Control Pills for this 61 year old woman whose had a hysterectomy...silly me. Now I need to find a Dr. to write me a Rx for Birth Control Pills...what the hell, they're FREE & I want them!!
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't care what's on paper, until someone goes to jail, this stuff is all legal.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting that he doesn't feel like making decisions on how Americans spend their own money is a punishment. Because of Obamacare, we're reducing our standard of living by paying for an expanded product that doesn't meet our needs with a very high deductible that generally means we will avoid using it at all.

At our house it means that we don't spend money on things like eating out, getting the truck washed or having my nails done.... in other words - helping folks at the bottom of the ladder earn a living so they can move up the ladder.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look, I know you only need a Ford, but we're gonna have you buy a Bugotti.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Chairman Mao's Great Leap Forward wasn't meant to punish folks, either.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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