Obamacare: The Black Sheep of the White House


Each week, it seems more bad news is enveloping Obamacare. This week, it’s the Administration’s decision to push back certain coverage requirements to 2015:

Businesses won’t be penalized next year if they don’t provide workers health insurance after the Obama administration decided to delay a key requirement under its health-care law, two administration officials said.

The decision will come in regulatory guidance to be issued later this week. It addresses vehement complaints from employer groups about the administrative burden of reporting requirements, though it may also affect coverage provided to some workers.

The two officials, who asked not to be identified to discuss the move ahead of its announcement, said the administration decided to wait until 2015 before enforcing the employer mandate in order to simplify reporting requirements and give businesses more time to adapt their health-care coverage.

At Hot Air, Mary Katharine Ham has 10 questions the Administration should answer about the delay. Here are four of them:

1. Do we think President Obama knew about the delay in the employer mandate or did he have to wait to find out about it when Air Force One landed back in America and he could get a newspaper in front of him?

2. Isn’t Obama just leaving the little guy out to dry by waiving a mandate for employers, who have an organized lobby, but leaving it in place for individuals?

4. Isn’t it the White House that’s interfering with implementation, now?

5. By Obama’s definition, did the White House just do an end-around Congress to limit women’s access to birth control? Without employer mandate penalties being enforced, will the administration also be declining to enforce penalties on employers who don’t provide free birth control? Or, is that lobby not powerful enough to get a waiver?

I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you. Businesses don’t want more burdens on them, burdens that will cost them money, market share, and give further advantage to larger competitors? Amazing.

Also at Hot Air, Erika Johnsen reports how Obamacare is impacting coverage in California:

It turns out, however, that the entire regulatory-administrative kit and kaboodle is beginning to cost at least a few major insurers more trouble than it’s worth: Earlier this year, UnitedHealth, Aetna, and Cigna all announced they will not be participating in California’s state exchange for individuals; and in June, Aetna announced that they were opting out of the individual insurance market altogether and instead focusing their business energies on providing insurance plans through large and small employers. Now, UnitedHealth is following suit, via the LA Times:

This market reaction to Obamacare will likely be blamed on the insurance industry instead of the (Un)Affordable Care Act. However, the insurance industry – which lobbied for Obamacare – deserves zero sympathy. In their opinion, the perk of forcing everyone in America to buy their product outweighed any drawbacks of increased government regulation.

Now they blame the law they campaigned for as the cause for withdrawing from California’s individual insurance markets. To opponents of Obamacare, this result was seen coming years ago. Consumers will lose out the most, seeing less coverage and fewer options.

Finally, on Facebook, Coalition to Reduce Spending Board Member Corie Whalen provides definitive proof the “you can keep your plan if you like it” part of Obamacare was a lie. Perhaps it should be replaced with something like:

If you like your plan, you can keep it. But if it doesn’t meet the absurdly high standards we want, including coverage that potentially violates your conscience, you’ll have to pay a fine. But you can keep it!

It’s not quite as catchy, of course. Then again, “Obamacare” is sexier than “Another Beltway Boondoggle that hurts the American people while benefiting special interests, violates numerous parts of the Constitution, and accelerates America’s coming fiscal collapse.”

You can see Tea Party Patriots’ official press release denouncing both the delay and Obamacare’s impact on businesses here.