U.S. Representative Mike Coffman, a consistent opponent of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, which was enacted in 2010, today stated his belief that the Obama Administration will delay other core elements of the new health care law until after the 2014 midterm elections.
The Obama Administration announced yesterday that they are delaying the employer mandate requiring businesses of 50 employees or more to offer a federally approved health care plan to all of their full-time employees or face stiff fines starting in January of 2014. Full-time employment is defined, under Obamacare, as 30 hours a week or more. The employer mandate is now delayed until January, 2015, under yesterday's announcement.
"The employers that I've been talking to fully understand this requirement and they are fully aware the mandate applies to them only if they have 50 employees or more who work more than 30 hours a week. They don't need more time to figure that out as the Administration claims," said Coffman.
Coffman believes the move by the Administration - pushing the mandate past the 2014 midterm elections - is purely political and opens the door to push other core provisions of Obamacare past the 2014 midterm elections as well.
"The employer mandate under Obamacare is a job killer. Small businesses have been telling me that if they employ over 50 workers that they are figuring out how to get under 50. And if they are under 50 they say they are going to stay under 50," said Coffman.
Coffman also believes that the next core Obamacare requirement to be delayed are the state insurance exchanges that are set up for individuals not covered by employer sponsored health care to buy policies with income-based subsidies.
Under Obamacare, states have the option of either setting up the required insurance exchanges themselves or letting the federal government, under the Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS), set it up for them. Many states that are setting up their own insurance exchanges, such as in Colorado, are closer to being ready for the October, 2014, deadline than the states that have chosen to rely on HHS.
"The states that left it up to the federal government to develop their insurance exchanges are far behind the curve in being ready for Obamacare. This is a huge embarrassment for the Administration and they need an exit strategy. Once you delay the employer mandate, the individual mandate will soon follow. It's time to go back to the drawing board and come up with a better health care policy," said Coffman.