Obama Didn't Consult WH Lawyers When Delaying Employer Mandate
Obamacare was passed three years ago. Businesses have been complaining about the employer mandate for almost as long. In short, Obama had three years to go back to Congress and ask for a delay in implementing the mandate. The decision not to had nothing whatsoever to do with "administration actions" and everything to do with politics. By delaying the mandate, he is admitting defeat in successfully implementing Obamacare. To have done so before the election would have been a devastating blow.
The delay in implementing the employer mandate is not the only unilaterial decision made by the executive branch to put off requirements found in the Affordable Care Act.
Already, the Health and Human Services Department has signaled the federal exchanges will not have all the bells and whistles once promised. In March, HHS said the small-business portals will not be able to allow individual employees to choose their own plans in the first year, as the law requires. Small-business employees will still be able to buy there, but only the single plan selected by their employers. That's just one of a few "shortcuts" that analysts say theadministration will take in the first year for the sake of functionality. "They've openly acknowledged that some of that is not going to be ready," says Caroline Pearson, a vice president at the consultancy Avalere Health, who is watching the exchanges' progress.
The administration has also indicated that, in some states, information about which people are eligible to buy through the exchange (and with how much government help) won't be instantly available. To answer that question, the exchanges must consult a yet-to-be-completed data hub that merges income information from the IRS, disability information from the Social Security Administration, and citizenship information from the Homeland Security Department, along with state systems that will determine whether people with certain conditions or very low incomes qualify for Medicaid coverage. States are updating their systems, but few have the sophisticated computer programs that can sort out those questions in real time or communicate the answers to the federal government. It seems clear that some shoppers will face long delays or fill out federal applications, only to be directed to apply again at a state website or office. In some cases, the seamless digital experience may be replaced with paper applications.
So much for the rule of law in Obama's America.