Other Views on the Employer Mandate Delay

Ezra Klein:

Delaying ObamaCare’s employer mandate is the right thing to do. Frankly, eliminating it — or at least utterly overhauling it — is probably the right thing to do. But the administration executing a regulatory end-run around Congress is not the right way to do it.

And on the mandate generally:

It’s a bad bit of policy. In fact, when it first emerged during the Senate’s negotiations, I called it “one of the worst ideas in recent memory.”

Aaron Carroll:

The employer penalty was a solution to try and reduce the cost to the government by shifting more of the cost of insurance onto employers. It has good parts and bad parts. Personally, I agree with Ezra that it could have been done better. I also think the individual mandate could have been done better.

Tyler Cowen:

I agree with Ezra Klein…Here is one good quotation from a source: “Politically, it won’t get easier a year from now, it will get harder,” he said. “You’ve given the employer community a sense of confidence that maybe they can kill this. If I were an employer, I would smell blood in the water.”

My view is you don’t serve up a delay and PR disaster like this, on such a sensitive political issue, unless you really wish to derail the entire provision.

Sarah Kliff:

The White House just swapped one political headache for another.

By delaying a requirement that all large employers provide health insurance, the Obama administration heads off the unseemly spectacle of companies vowing to cut jobs or workers’ hours to avoid the costly mandate.

But the late Tuesday action is not a free pass: It contributes to critics’ claims that the White House does not have the ability to launch its biggest legislative accomplishment on schedule.

Comments (17)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    They all seem to ignore the conventional wisdom that workers are the ones who ultimately have to bear the cost. It’s an administrative headache for employers mostly because they have the task of cost-shifting health benefits to workers who may not be willing to bear the cost.

  2. Dewaine says:

    “My view is you don’t serve up a delay and PR disaster like this, on such a sensitive political issue, unless you really wish to derail the entire provision.”

    Interesting view. What will we end up with? Expanded Medicaid, higher taxes and growing debt?

    • JD says:

      I don’t think that the plan all along was to abort so many provisions of the bill. I think that they are realizing how bad the politics will be and are trying to save themselves.

      • Dewaine says:

        I don’t know. It will be interesting to see what we end up with, I have a hard time believing that these things are a result of incompetence.

  3. JD says:

    It’ll be interesting to see who ends up with the blame down the road. 2016 will be here sooner than you think, how long will can they kick the can down the road. I foresee a last minute implementation before Obama leaves the White House, leaving a mess for his successor to clean up and giving him the ability to deny blame.

  4. Sammy says:

    Pretty uniform set of views. Makes sense because this delay is hard to view it from a different perspective, ie positive for the administration.

    • Tommy says:

      That’s true. I think it was an act of desperation and the WH knows it’s not an easy law to implement.

  5. Larkin says:

    The mandate was a terrible idea.

  6. Sammy says:

    “By delaying a requirement that all large employers provide health insurance, the Obama administration heads off the unseemly spectacle of companies vowing to cut jobs or workers’ hours to avoid the costly mandate.”

    -Obama just keeps hurting himself politically time and time again.

  7. ColoComment says:

    Given the alterations (HHS regulations), failures (states not adopting exchanges, for example) and deletions (elimination of front-loaded long-term care insurance, for example) over the past several years, it would be very, very interesting to see CBO re-score this law based on its current form, current estimated costs, and current implementation schedule.

    There’s a reason why ACA got no Republican votes. And why opening up the health care/health insurance industry to true market forces (tax treatment parity, selling across state lines, transitioning more consumers to HSA plans, etc.) would have been the more effective method of reform.

    What a shame that Obama’s signature legislation is revealing itself to be an unworkable mess of pottage. /sarc off

  8. Brian Williams. says:

    Grover Norquist has a way with words:

    “This is not the President’s critics saying his plan sucks. This is the President saying ‘my plan sucks’.”

  9. Linda Gorman says:

    As I read the Treasury Announcement, it simply says that the employer and insurer reporting requirements, Secs. 6055 and 6056, are delayed for year. Enforcement of employer shared responsibility payments will also be delayed because without the reporting they can’t necessarily identify who they should go after.

    OCare is still the law, whether or not the Treasury chooses to enforce it. If your business chooses to exercise its Citizens United rights a little too vigorously in the next set of national elections, maybe there could be a slight policy change just for you? Just as the IRS accommodated the Tea Party folks?

    All of the benefits requirements are still on track along with new fees and taxes. And nothing was said about the affordability penalties, although without the reporting it might be hard to gather enough data to make a case.

  10. Dennis Byron says:

    1. A bunch of people who admittedly coordinate their blog writings before they write them agreed with each others. Boy that’s a shocker.

    2. This is the fourth or fifth major portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that has been suspended or delayed or.. (pick the Journolister/administration spin word of your choice). I think the Act only has 13 major portions.

  11. Brian Williams. says:

    If this president can unilaterally delay implementation of certain portions of Obamacare, can a future Republican president delay (indefinitely) the implementation of provisions like the tax, premium subsidies, and so forth?