President Obama recently announced that his administration would delay the start-date of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, which requires all companies of a certain size to offer health insurance to their employees. This marked the second time that the administration has pushed back the start date for the employer mandate, first from the beginning of 2014 to now, and now another TWO YEARS until 2016.
Obama tried to downplay the news at a press conference, “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,”
Republicans, who have spend the last four years or so decrying Obamacare as the end of civilization, that must be overturned, are now apoplectic that their favorite program is not being implemented in time, obviously, “It’s time to stop creating more chaos, and to delay Obamacare for all Americans,” House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Monday.
Many on the left, though, would love to see the employer mandate jettisoned for good. You see, when Obamacare was being debated the employer mandate was considered by many a necessary evil to ensure that there wasn’t too much disruption for the average voter under Obamacare, as the vast majority of American who have health insurance get it through their employers. To have upended that system, and require that the vast majority of Americans undergo a massive change in the provision of their healthcare, would have made the law unpassable. On the left, though, many wish to decouple the relationship between one’s employer, and one’s healthcare, seeing it as a conflict of interest which drains resources from successful companies. As Ezra Klein wrote for Bloomberg:
“The great mystery of U.S. health care is why the country’s CEOs didn’t demand a single-payer system a long time ago. It’s an unending distraction — and cost drag — for companies to employ expensive human-resources divisions to negotiate with insurers and hospitals, manage health-care costs, and field questions and concerns from employees. Companies that are great at making cars or buildings or accounting software can’t survive if they’re not also successful at managing health insurance.”