Obamacare too important to allow midterm elections to destroy it

When I heard the Obama administration had unilaterally delayed an important milestone in the Affordable Health Care Act, I had to chuckle. Certainly there may have been some implementation issues, but you know this move was to delay the implementation – at the employer level – until after the midterm elections.

One Republican called the move deviously brilliant, and I must agree. The administration can put all of the blame on what can only be described as minor reporting issues, and almost take Obamacare off the table for the Nov. 2014 election cycle. Americans have short memories and short attention spans, but can the Republicans still use this move against the Democrats in 2014?

Doesn’t the legislation stipulate the implementation date? It certainly does, and Big Government has a post about the specific issue.

Section 1513’s “Employer Mandate” is one of five parts of the ACA that are absolutely essential for this government-run system to work, with the most well-known of those five being the infamous “Individual Mandate” upheld by the Supreme Court as a tax by a controversial 5-4 decision in 2012.

And the Employer Mandate is mandatory. The law Congress wrote explicitly commands that this provision takes effect in January 2014. The ACA does not permit the government to grant a reprieve or an extension.

Yet in a blatantly illegal move, the Obama administration is presuming to rewrite the ACA by choosing not to enforce provisions that are causing visible problems.

This administration picks and chooses what laws it wants to enforce and which they want to ignore every single day don’t they?

What about the individual mandate? When you read about the huge premium increases coming from Obamacare, the most extreme increases are from the individual health care insurance market. These are individuals and families who are going direct to purchase health care insurance instead of most everyone else who get it through their employer. There is no delay to implement that part of the program. Those individuals are now being treated quite differently by the government when it comes to implementation rules. Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard asks…

Shouldn’t House and Senate Republicans move next week to delay the individual mandate as well? Will Democrats stand up on the floor of Congress to defend the proposition that businesses deserve relief, but not people? I doubt it. You could see a real rout on the floor of the House—and then the Senate.

Could Obama even sustain a veto of such legislation?

And once the individual mandate is delayed for a year, it can be delayed for another year. And another. Until it, and the whole superstructure of Obamacare, which rests on it, can be repealed.

What about all of the millions of dollars that have been poured into getting this implementation in place by Jan. 1, 2014? I used to work for a health insurance company and I know a significant number of IT dollars needed to be thrown at getting this done in time … and now the Obama administration just changes the rules? It’s not like the big health care insurance companies can go back to the government and adjust their invoice because of a change order … these are federal mandates. More from Avik Roy at Forbes.

Even if the Obama administration’s delay lasts for only one year, that delay will give firms time to restructure their businesses to avoid offering costly coverage, leading to an expansion of the individual insurance market and a shrinkage of the employer-sponsored market. Remember that the administration is not delaying the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to buy health coverage or face a fine.

But delaying the employer mandate could lead, ultimately, to its repeal, which would do much to transition our insurance market from an employer-sponsored one to an individually-purchased one.

I can tell you from experience health insurance companies do not want to destroy employer sponsored health care insurance. They strongly believe costs are kept lower and they make more money as compared to individual policies. Heck, even though they are small players in the California market, both Aetna and UnitedHealthcare flat-out pulled out of the individual California market … it was not turning even a small profit.

Working against health insurance companies is a federal government that is more than willing to kill the employer sponsored market through mandates and regulation, and blame it on the employers. That would leave the individual market to provide coverage options, but that will prove to be cost prohibitive to individuals and families. See where I’m going here? The federal government will just have to step in and provide a single-payer, government provided health care system since the free market “failed” because of …. the federal government mandates and regulations.

Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Eric on July 3, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I’ve said this before Steve, but no matter how you look at this Obamacare fiasco, it’s an abortion! ?The idea behind it was never presented to people with a background in private enterprise, just to get an idea of whether or not the massive undertaking was even possible. ?The people who created this bill were politicians. ?That should tell you everything you need to know as to why it doesn’t work. ?Government has never been good at running any business of any kind. ?They are ill experienced and fiscally inept at such things. ?The Affordable Care Act, which is anything but affordable, is really about government taking control of a lot of money. In fact this whole deal would allow them to control 1/6 of our economy. ?That’s a lot of money, and everyone knows what this government does with our money? they waste it. ?There’s no wonder why our insurance premiums are going to increase by more then 100%, and that’s just the beginning of our problems. ?We were lied to from the beginning, and they’re still lying to us. ?This is bad legislation and should be allowed to die. ?It was bad news when it passed and it’s bad news today!

  2. Plainvillian on July 3, 2013 at 9:30 am

    What is the difference between selective enforcement of law and ruling by edict?? Didn’t Jefferson eloquently indict rule by fiat in our Declaration of Independence?? Has this long train of abuses not brought us to absolute despotism?? What’s to be done?

  3. stinkfoot on July 3, 2013 at 11:22 am

    To me it simply underscores the fact that this administration has no intention of bending to the will of the people and it knows that the law is a pile of excrement- clearly it doesn’t care.? They had to pass it so that we could find out what’s in it (Pelosi) because they knew any vetting would have brought out major opposition before they could ram it down our throats.? What I don’t get is the repeated rhetoric about trying to get them to see our side on anything- whether it’s this or energy or whatnot.? What we need or want is irrelevant in their agenda.? They need to go.

  4. sammy22 on July 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    For what it’s worth: the employers mandate applies only to employers with 50 employees or more. The vast majority of employers with 50 employees or more, already provide health insurance. A relatively small number of employers are affected by the mandate (those under 50 employees are not affected), and have been “balking”. The Admin is giving them more time, you can argue that this is bad policy implementation. The comments above seem to be over-the-top.

    • Steve McGough on July 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      The vast majority of employers with 50 employees or more, already provide health insurance.

      So in other words, they solved a problem that does not exist and made the situation worse. They also left the people who work for companies with less than 50 employees on their own, demanding they buy insurance or face a fine. The situation was NEVER bad at all, there were a few issues that Republicans proposed solutions to. They were ignored and we get 2,000 pages of garbage legislation and ten times the number of ridiculous regulations.

    • Eric on July 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      You took the words right out of my mouth Steve. ?We’re looking at very bad policy being manipulated daily by people who haven’t got a clue as to how they’re going to proceed with this train wreck! ?This entire fiasco could’ve been prevented had the concerned parties been willing to work together to solve some of the problems we had instead of creating a massive fiscal hemorrhage that is totally unworkable. ?I have to laugh when I look back at the salesmanship, the absolute need to do something so quickly, and the long list of benefits that we just couldn’t live without! ?The democrats lied to the American people to get this terrible piece of legislation passed, and now we’re all stuck with the cleanup. ? What a joke!

    • sammy22 on July 4, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Employers with less than 50 employees are not subject to a fine. The mandate in Obamacare is SCOTUS approved. I think it’s time to move on and make it “better”, if both sides are willing to do it.

    • Eric on July 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Sammy, I understanding what you’re saying but the issue of levying fines on smaller employers is is really a non-issue at this point. ?There’s more slight of hand happening here then most people realize. ?Something stinks with the way in which the administration is handling this “little bump in the road” and I think it’s time we were told why the rolling out of the program has gone from “everything’s on schedule” two weeks ago to this latest surprise. ?This is certainly not the time to simply “move on”. ?

    • Steve McGough on July 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      Employers with less than 50 employees are not subject to a fine.

      I never said they were. That’s the individual mandate … you know, the one that requires those individuals to buy insurance or pay a fine?

    • Dimsdale on July 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

      What Steve said, plus read this: “Why France has so many 49 employee companies” (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-03/why-france-has-so-many-49-employee-companies)
      As much as I like small business, 49 employees is supposed to be a stepping stone to a bigger company, not the a goal of an already successful company.? Yet another reason why government intrusion into private business is BAD.

    • sammy22 on July 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      OK, you’ve had your collective say. Meanwhile millions are moving on because: Obamacare is law, the SCOTUS has passed judgement including that on the mandate. It’s not going away and if both sides were willing, it could be made better (and I hope they do make it better).

    • Dimsdale on July 6, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      If both sides were willing, or got enough grief from the electorate instead of “well, let’s just suck it up because it is law”, maybe we could get this abolished (like slavery, or the resistance to women voting) and get a real law written that might do some good.? Or better, just get the government out of it except for criminal activity.?? All the increases etc., like the law saying that everyone entering an emergency room must be treated (but no provision for how to pay for it) caused the biggest uptick in the cost of medicine.?? Government meddling.
      Sheep move on.? Men and women fight.

    • sammy22 on July 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      What are you fighting? I keep reading lists of grievances and avoiding the reality that there are (and were) millions of uninsured people whose health care bills were paid for by the people who paid their insurance premiums.

    • Dimsdale on July 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      And how do you think this will be different?? By letting illegals bypass the law and remain covered by the errant law that says they must be covered in the ER?
      ?bamacare, when you really look at it, is going to have to do the same things they complained about with private insurance, with the added special “bonus” of multiple layers of government micromanagement.
      The handwriting on the wall is there: people will remain uninsured, the costs will increase, and coverage will decrease.?? A lose, lose, lose scenario if I have ever seen one.
      But hey, just because they rammed it through without reading it, via bribery and threats, we better get down on our knees and thank them, right?

    • sammy22 on July 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Yet another list of grievances. If you are wishing for repeal or abolishment, it’s not going to come any time soon. I wish they could get together and make it better, but that is not going to happen anytime soon with the current political climate.

    • Dimsdale on July 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      Well, if you want to call pointing out the glaring holes in your argument “a list of grievances”, then so be it, but the entire fiasco is imploding as more and more of ?bamacare is found to be unworkable.? If repeal or abolishment is impossible, it is only due to the hubris of the president and his cronies in the Democrat party, not competence, common sense or the acceptance that it really is a “trainwreck”.
      The cure is not supposed to kill the patient.


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