Kate Picket for Time magazine:
For a massive law that will reorganize nearly the entire U.S. health care system, the one-year delay of a relatively minor provision would seem a mere blip. But the Obama Administration’s recent announcement that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer mandate will kick in a year late could ripple beyond the brief extension, increasing costs and complicating implementation of other vital parts of the law.
In delaying the employer mandate — which requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance to workers or pay federal penalties — the Obama Administration is yielding to pressure from some business leaders who have been critical of the provision and tacitly acknowledging Obamacare’s potential as political kryptonite.
Repeat after me: The problem with the employer mandate is not the employer mandate per se. Of “large” companies in America — those that employ 50 or more people — 96% of them already provided health insurance for their employees.
96%. Theoretically then, only 4% of these companies would feel any changes under ObamaCare. Theoretically.
What’s going on is, the reporting requirements — and these fall on 100% of these companies, whether or not they were already providing insurance — the reporting requirements are so onerous and so complicated that the government can’t figure out how to implement them and businesses are screaming bloody murder at having to comply with them.
The ObamaCare bureaucracy in other words is too much of a mess to even will itself into existence, given three years and untold billions of dollars. And the private sector can’t figure out how to follow regulations the massive new bureaucracy has either yet to write or to explain.
And then we wonder why the economy barely sputters along in neutral.
The Democrats broke this. They own it. Don’t forget that.